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Issue 212 | July 2012

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Full story p26-27

ELS BELLS! ERNIE BAGS SECOND CLARET JUG

INTRODUCING

IRON

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PROGRESSIVE DESIGN The progressive set design of the i20 Iron allows for high-launching long irons and penetrating short irons. This enables the golfer to execute even the most demanding shots and ultimately get the most from their game. The multi-metal composition aids overall performance, helping golfers to hit precise yardages.

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INTRODUCING THE

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© 2012 Callaway Golf Company. Callaway, Callaway Golf, the Chevron Device and RAZR Fit are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Callaway Golf Company. Golf Digest and the Hot List logo are the property of Conde Naste Publications. 110391


July 2012 / Issue 212

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Read the UK’s no.1 golf paper online at www.golfnews.co.uk

Golf News, The Studio, 14 Deanway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6DG. Tel: 01273 556377. email: info@golfnews.co.uk. Website: www.golfnews.co.uk Sales & Marketing Director Andy Martin andy.martin@golfnews.co.uk

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Contributors Paul Mahoney, Clive Agran, Ewen Murray, Denis Pugh, Alistair Tait

FULL STORY P26-27

ELS BELLS! ERNIE BAGS SECOND CLARET JUG

INTRODUCING

Follow us on: Twitter@golfnewsmag

IRON

PROGRESSIVE DESIGN The progressive set design of the i20 Iron allows for high-launching long irons and penetrating short irons. This enables the golfer to execute even the most demanding shots and ultimately get the most from their game. The multi-metal composition aids overall performance, helping golfers to hit precise yardages.

For more information visit PING.com

© Copyright Golf News 2012. No part of this publication may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in anyway or means, either by recording or otherwise, without permission of the publishers in writing.

COMPETITION P14 | JOE MILLER P20 | GARY BOYD P32 | EWEN MURRAY COLUMN P35 | PRO SHOP P38-39 | ME & MY TRAVELS P47

Editor’sview email: editor@golfnews.co.uk

Would you Adam and eve it? This Twitter lark can make fools of us all – well, me, in this instance. There was I, tapping away at about 3pm on Sunday afternoon, twittering on about how the R&A should just hand the blessed Claret Jug over to Adam Scott, so we could all get on with mowing the lawn/taking the dog for a walk/lighting the BBQ, or generally whatever the gripping denouement of the 141st Open Championship was preventing us from doing on the sunniest afternoon since records began. And when the hapless Aussie rolled in the birdie putt on 14, I really was reaching for my keyboard to write up a few potential headlines (‘Great Scott’, ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘Scott sweeps away Lytham rivals’ (see what I did there in reference to his use of the broomhandle putter – I know, the Pulitzer can wait). And then, before we know it, ‘Scotty’ – as fellow Oz-dweller Wayne Grady so chummily calls him – starts giving away shots like a Spanish bartender during happy hour. The boy had completely lost his Lytham rhythm.

It was like watching Superman after the kryptonite had run out, or when Spiderman ran out of web from his wrist-based shooting mechanism. He reached into the well, and the bucket was dry. It was almost as if the last three and half days had been a complete charade, and the real Adam Scott revealed himself over Lytham’s famed final four. We said, in last month’s preview, that the Lancashire links’ closing holes are the hardest in Open golf, perhaps Major golf – and they proved exactly that. No lead could be big enough to be assured of victory, and so, for poor Scott, it proved. Ernie’s victory – made possible by a fabulous birdie on the 18th – was just reward for hanging on in there, while others fell tamely away. And, after enduring several year of iffy form from close range, it was fitting that the Big Easy’s second Open Championship should come with a putt with which he probably felt he had nothing to lose.

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The SHIRE SERIES 2012 IN SUPPOR T OF THE SEVE BALLESTEROS FOUNDATION

Six golf events, open to all, on Seve’s only UK golf course – the Ballesteros Masters Course. At least £20 per competitor donated to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Fri 31st August The Shire Series Family Cup Thurs 6th Sept The Shire Series Men’s Scratch Open Thurs 6th Sept The Shire Series Ladies’ Scratch Open Tues 11th Sept The Shire Series Handicap Classic Weds 26th September The Shire Series Corporate Challenge Fri 12th October The Shire Series Grand Final

Contact the office on 01628 816161 to discuss your requirements or email: enquiries@harleyfordgolf.co.uk Harleyford Estate, Henley Rd, Marlow on Thames, Buckinghamshire SL7 2SP

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CALL THE SHIRE LONDON ON 020 8441 7649 OR VISIT WWW.THESHIRESERIES.COM The Seve Ballesteros Foundation is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK to beat brain cancer. Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464) and in Scotland (SC041666).


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July 2012 / Issue 212

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The ISPS Handa Ladies’ British Masters, which takes place from August 16-18 at The Buckinghamshire Golf Club, looks sets to atttract the cream of European golf, including many of the current Solheim Cup-winning team and rising stars on the Ladies European Tour. The three day tournament, which boasts a prize fund of £300,000, is also expected to draw a sizeable crowd for what is a rare sortie on home soil for the LET, whose head office is based at The Buckinghamshire. Located just 20 minutes from central London, the tournament will bring women’s golf right onto the doorstep of the capital, just after the Olympic Games. The Buckinghamshire Golf Club, which boasts an 18-hole parkland course designed by John Jacobs, has hosted a number of top amateur and professional tournaments since it first opened in 1992, including The Senior Tournament of Champions from 1996-2000, the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf European Final in 1997, and The Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy in 2007. John O’Leary, who has been golf director at the club for the past 15 years, said: “On behalf of everyone at The Buckinghamshire, we thank Dr Handa and ISPS for bringing the Ladies British Masters here to us. We look forward to welcoming the players, media, guests and spectators to a world class Ladies European Tour golf event.” The chairman of Japanbased sponsor International Sports Promotion Society, is Dr Haruhisa Handa, a wellknown philanthropist who is

Laura Davies will be among the stars on show at The Buckinghamshire

Ladies bid for Masters glory

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involved with supporting the development of golf within disabled groups, including the Japanese Blind Golfers’ Society. Speaking at the launch of the tournament back in February, Dr Handa said: “The British Ladies Masters occupies a prime summer slot in the sporting calendar, immediately after the Olympic Games, and a week before the Paralympic Games, offering an ideal opportunity for ISPS to further promote our mission for golf to become a paralympic sport and to further raise the profile of blind and disabled golf. ISPS does such valuable

Moveable hazard: a balloon crash-landed at Verulam

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Balloon finds the rough at Verulam Evening golfers at Verulam Golf Club in Hertfordshire were recently looking to the heavens, and not just for inspiration. A hot air balloon was about to crash land right in the middle of the course. The giant inflatable hit the ground just behind Verulam’s 14th green, close to the 15th tee, causing golfers to scatter. Club pro Nick Bird, who saw the incident first hand, said: “It made for quite an eventful, exciting evening. It was apparently a controlled landing and fortunately nobody was hurt or injured as a result.” However, such an incident is becoming something of a regular occurrence at Verulam, famed for being the home club of Samuel Ryder, the man behind the Ryder Cup: “We’ve had one or two balloon landings on the course in recent years – I think we must be under the flightpath,” added Bird.

work in taking golf to this audience, and in actively raising participation in blind and disabled golf across the world.” Ladies European Tour player Laura Davies, who is one of a number of top stars who have already committed to taking part, said: “I am very happy to be playing in this new tournament and over such a beautiful course as the Buckinghamshire. I am delighted to continue my support for ISPS as an ambassador and am honoured to support their cause and Paralympic mission.” The Ascot-based also player made no secret of her delight at being to sleep in her own home between rounds. “It will be a challenging tournament, with a strong field, and I’m extremely pleased to be playing an event so close to home.” For tickets to the event, visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Seve insp There were many routes to The Open Championships at Royal Lytham as a player and a spectator this year, either via local and final qualifying or the M6, depending on which category you fell into, but a handful of hardy souls decided to do it the hard way by travelling to the course on foot. A quartet from golf holiday company YourGolfTravel.com was joined by Paul Simmonds, a starter at Stoke Park Golf Club, and made the 300-mile journey from Buckinghamshire to the famous Lancashire links in order to raise money for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation in aid of Cancer Research UK. Starting out from Cancer Research’s London headquarters, and following the canal routes on their journey north, the ‘Walk for Seve’ team stopped off for the night at a number of golf clubs along the way, including


July 2012 / Issue 212

After suffering from a back problem that took him out of action for several months, past Virgin Atlantic Order of Merit winner Andy Raitt put that and the rest of the field firmly behind him when winning the West Hill Pro-Am with a three-under-par 66. The St George’s Hill pro’s return to health also resulted in a return to winning form, and saw him beating nearest rivals Peter Appleyard (Redlibbets) and Paul Simpson (West Berks) by three clear shots. The winner was overjoyed to be back in form. He said: “I’m very pleased indeed. A recurrence of a back injury has put me out of competitive action since March, but after trying a different solution in the last three weeks has turned things around completely. My physio advised me to start using a punch bag of all things, but it’s worked. It’s all to do with building up the core muscles and getting back the stability from which to deliver power. Having done all sorts of other exercises, I have to say this wasn’t the obvious solution at first, but it’s working a treat as West Hill proved.� He added: “The weather on the day was pretty horrendous, but the course was in very good condition, all things considered. I just can’t express how good it feels to have overcome this back injury and become competitive again.�

Raymond repeats Brabazon success Neil Raymond

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Battling Raitt on road to recovery

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Hampshire’s Neil Raymond successfully defended the Brabazon Trophy after battling through the wind and rain at Walton Heath. The 26-year-old from Corhampton made history by becoming the first player in over 20 years to win back-to-back Brabazon titles. A closing round of 72 left him two strokes clear of playing partner Kevin Phelan from Ireland, and three ahead of fast-finishing Jamie Rutherford from Hertfordshire.  “I didn’t play as well in the final rounds as in previous rounds, but I got the job done,� said Raymond. “I had a few dodgy moments, but I made a couple of good saves when I needed to.� The save that counted most came on the 190-yard seventh, when he fired a six iron over the green into the trees. “I had nowhere to drop, so I had to move 80 yards away onto a path with a blind shot over the trees, and the ball almost went in,� he added. “It lipped out, so I only dropped one shot.� He was out in 37, but birdied the 12th and 13th to get back into red figures, and also birdied the long 16th. He made a superb sand save at the 206-yard 17th, and could even afford to drop a shot at the last and still win comfortably. Phelan, who started the day two behind Raymond, needed a fast start, but it eluded him as he double-bogeyed the par-four fourth to match Raymond’s front nine 37, while a couple of back nine birdies still couldn’t make up the difference. Rutherford signed for 68, the equal best round of the week, to take third place, while Worthing’s Jack Bartlett hoisted himself into fourth place with a closing 70. The George Henriques Salver for the best performance by a player aged under 20 went to Rutherford, while Surrey’s Josh White won the Scrutton Jug for the best aggregate scores – 580 – from Andy Raitt the Brabazon and Berkshire Trophies.

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Wentworth, The Oxfordshire, Banbury, The Belfry, Stokeon-Trent, Warrington and, finally, St Anne’s. If the task were not hard enough in itself, Simmonds made life harder by carrying a tour bag loaded with a full set of golf clubs. Once at the Open, he was granted

access to the practice range by the PGA and used the opportunity to have the bag signed by every player. The bag, which has been supplied by Callaway, will be auctioned off for the charity, with Callaway also providing a full set of clubs to the winning bidder.

Simmonds said: “I always saw Seve as an inspirational golfer, and his bravery against cancer was even more inspirational. I really wanted to take this opportunity to support what he was doing with the foundation, and raise some money for a really great cause.�

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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Wallis bounces back at Gatton Kent ace Richard Wallis won the PGA Surrey Open at Gatton Manor following a tense play-off at the Ockley-based club’s notoriously difficult final hole. Virgin Atlantic Order of Merit champion Wallis’s return to winning form left him holding the trophy and the winner’s cheque for £2,000 after an eventful two days’ play at the popular Surrey venue. After tying with Frilford Heath’s Tom Fleming on five-under par, following rounds of 71, 69 and 71, Wallis won the play-off in spectacular style, hitting his 172-yard approach to within 15 feet of the pin on the 18th hole, to leave him with a simple two-putt for victory when his rival found trouble off the tee. “My confidence took a battering from the BMW PGA Championship and Wales Open, but in the Pro-Am on Tuesday I found the swing thought I’ve been searching for. This is fantastic result for me. I drove well, hit a lot of good iron shots, was patient and kept things simple. I’m really looking forward to challenging again for the Order of Merit title.”

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It all Adds up for Barham Benn Barham is refinding his form after losing his tour card last year

Benn Barham and Darren Peters tied for victory in The Addington Pro-Am after shooting twounder-par 67s. Peters, who is based at Hampton Court, was four under par after 11 holes, and looked the likely winner, but bogeys at 14 and 18 saw him drop back to two-under-par. Barham, on the other hand, despite playing The Addington for the first time, reached the turn in level par, then charged through the next four of The Addington’s trickiest holes with a birdie blitz at the 10th, 11th, 12th, culminating in a near hole-in-one at the treacherous par-three 13th. With victory in sight, the former European Tour player was unable to chip and putt for his par at the 15th, and

then, after finding his drive in a divot, and three-putting the par-five 16th, was forced to share the spoils with Peters. “Everything I’d been told about The Addington was true,” said Barham, after his round. “The course was in great condition, and the greens were superb. I think I plotted my way round pretty well and I really enjoyed the course. I had a week off from the Challenge Tour, and with the excellent hospitality at the event itself, sharing the win with Darren was the perfect result.” Both players took home cheques for £870 . Nudged into third place was Surrey National’s Matthew Stock, whose bogey up the last hole cost him a share of top spot.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

/ 07

South Bucks rises from Farnham’s ashes Farnham Park Golf Course has been given a new lease of life – and a new name – following a cash injection of almost £2 million into its facilities by South Bucks District Council. The council has lent The Farnham Park Trust a total of £1.98m to build a new clubhouse and greenkeepers’ compound. And to reflect the new chapter in the club’s life, the council has also agreed that the club, which also comprises the 9-hole layout and 15-bay driving range at

The Lanes, should change its name to The South Buckinghamshire. The planned clubhouse has been designed by HLN Architects, which also designed the Twenty-Ten clubhouse at Celtic Manor. Although on a much smaller scale, many of the features of that building will be incorporated into Farnham’s new clubhouse. South Bucks District Councillor Anita Cranmer said: “The new clubhouse

will provide the local community with a superb facility that supports the objectives of the Farnham Park charitable trust, which are for the improved health and wellbeing of its residents.” She continued: “The renowned Colt/ Hawtree-designed 18-hole course is already first class, and has been held back by the aging facilities in the clubhouse. But now the green light has been given to build a new clubhouse, the facility and the course is set to offer some of the best public facilities in the area.” The new clubhouse will boast new dining areas and function rooms, a large golf shop, a club repair workshop, changing rooms and showers. The new building will be built on the site of the current greenkeepers’ compound, which will be relocated to the neighbouring Farnham Park playing fields. The new clubhouse will offer panoramic views across the course from the function rooms and rear terrace. The existing clubhouse and the course will remain open throughout the construction, so golfers will be able to continue to use the facilities as normal.

They’re building bridges at Sundridge Golfers at Sundridge Park Golf Club in Kent are walking across water, although sadly not on it, following the completion of the construction of a 100 foot-long oak bridge to the 18th green on its popular West Course. The bridge, which skirts around the edge of the recently-renovated pond, is part of a series of major investments currently being carried out at the 36-hole Bromley-based club. In addition to the bridge, significant funds have gone into the creation of a new teaching academy, which comprises four members’ bays, a separate teaching bay, and a large, enclosed, state-of-the-art swing studio. The project also included relevelling and extending the existing grass practice tee, and the installation of a 25m-wide range mat. Equally useful for members and visitors, given the current spell of wet weather, has been the construction of a number of new storm shelters, which have been built from timber harvested from the 250,000-plus trees that are such a feature of the courses.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

If you’re looking for outstanding golf on an immaculate course, then it’s time you booked a round at Golf At Goodwood’s Park Course, one of the best kept venues that is open to the public Over the years there has been an unquestionable blurring of the edges with regards to what constitutes a public and a private golf course. Forgetting the likes of Loch Lomond and Queenwood – where visitors of any kind, unless signed in by a member, are kept firmly at the gates – most private golf courses are very much open for business to those willing to pay the fees. Visiting golfers may not be able to bag a 9am tee time on a Saturday morning at the great majority of The Bar & Grill

IT’S GOT TO BE

private clubs, but drop by during the week, or after midday on most weekends, and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. The days of having to show your handicap certificate, passport, GCSE results, and junior swimming badges in order to get a game at somewhere with the word ‘Club’ in its name (as opposed to those other C words, ‘course’ and ‘complex’), are well and truly over. OK, you will need to have some golf shoes, and maybe a pair of beige chinos, but barring these small sartorial inconveniences, the world of private golf has very much ‘gone public’. While clubs with just one course with which to satisfy the demands of members and visitors are always faced with a difficult balancing act, a growing number of venues that have the benefit of operating two courses have decided to put a foot in both camps, offering up one for general play, while reserving the other for members-only golf. This has proved a particularly astute move at Goodwood in West Sussex, where the twin pleasures of the Downs Course and the Park Course have combined to create one of the most successful collisions between the world of public and private golf. They pride themselves on doing things differently at Goodwood – in a good way – and nowhere is its quintessentially English approach more apparent than in its golf offering. From the idiosyncratic The testing par-three 11th

GOODWOOD The par-four sixth hole

Woody buggies, with their wicker Champagne baskets and floralpattern bench seats, to the unique Ralph Lauren pro shop in The Kennels clubhouse – and even its unique membership concept, which has now been copied at venues all over the country. The idea of making golf more affordable, while at the same time refusing to compromise on quality, is what Golf At Goodwood is all about, whether it be for casual visitors or full members. When Lord March took the decision to rip up the rule book when it came to the running of Goodwood Golf Club back in 2006, little did he know that he was creating a template for the way golf looks certain to be played in the future. As a man not overly-enamoured with the stuffy structures associated with most clubs, Lord March did away with

traditional practices by establishing a membership fee structure based on a system of credits, whereby you pay a nominal annual subscription fee and purchase a bundle of credits that are used every time you play. The benefits of being charged a more modest sum based on the golf played, rather than subsidising the costs of those who played five times a week, proved an instant hit, and six years later the membership of the club now stands at nearly 2,500 – which is testament to how well a more flexible approach to membership has been received. Although the Downs Course is members only, with the exception of packages offered to hotel guests, a good proportion of the membership still choose to play the slightly less challenging Park Course, which is open to all-comers – although I would emphasise the word ‘slightly’, as the number of balls lost on both courses over the years must be about even. Located on the doorstep of The Goodwood Hotel, the 6,650-yard Park course is 25 years old this year, and was designed by leading architect Donald Steel. The beautiful parkland layout, which is built on largely flat terrain, is impressively overlooked by towering 18th century cedars and boasts quality greens and tees, as well as benefitting from stunning views of Goodwood House, which is home to Lord March and his family. With sculptured fairways, manicured approaches, and smooth,

evenly-paced greens, the Park Course is a notch or two above your average public course experience. And although the £30 green fee (£20 after 3pm, and £40 at weekends between 10am-2pm), is perhaps a small step above your average public course green fee, there is clearly a market for this type of outlay when something is done this well. As for Steel’s layout, well, let’s say that it’s also a step above the difficulty of an average parkland course. The course begins with one of the toughest holes on the card, a 423yard par four played into a slightly raised green, with bunkers and rough encroaching from the right. A bogey here is a solid start. The par-three second, which always seems to play longer that its 170 yards, is also an early test of accuracy. There are some quirky holes, including the short sixth, which can almost be reached with a driver – although a 6-iron and a wedge would also get the job done– while the dog-leg seventh requires a pin-point driver to the corner in order to set up a chance of birdie with an accurate short iron. The eighth is a nice par three, with an avenue of trees focusing the mind on what is quite a small target as you play back towards Goodwood House. The 15th, 16th and 17th, which enjoy their own separate stretch of land, offer a welcome bit of respite before the challenge of the par-five 18th, an excellent finishing hole, which offers a good chance of a closing par, despite the green being hidden from view from all but the longest tee shots. With the round finished, golfers can tot up their scores in the comfort of the hotel’s award-winning Bar & Grill, which offers lovely views over the course, with a terrace right behind the 18th green. The restaurant and bar create two distinct places to eat and drink, with many of the items on the menu featuring ingredients that have been either brewed, grown, or reared, organically, of course – on the Goodwood Estate.

The hotel itself has 91 rooms, and has recently benefitted from a stylish refurbishment, with a fresh contemporary feel to the rooms, it provides a stunning venue for a golfing break, although with the small matter of a racecourse, a motor racing track, an airfield, leisure club and treatment rooms, and all manner of country sports on top, visitors to Goodwood are clearly spoiled for choice when it comes to alternative leisure activities for non-golfers. Wherever your sporting interests lie, the good news for golfers travelling from other parts of the South East is that Goodwood is that much easier to get to following the recent opening of the Hindhead Tunnel, which has cut journey times from south west London down by over 20 minutes, to just under an hour. For a venue so closely connected with speed, it’s the final piece of the jigsaw that makes Goodwood the complete sporting paradise.

GOLF AT GOODWOOD EXPERIENCES Society Package on The Park - from £30, bacon roll and coffee; 18 holes; one-course meal in the Bar & Grill Experience The Downs - £95pp Day membership of Golf At Goodwood; bacon roll and coffee in The Kennels; complimentary range tokens; 18 holes, including buggy; post-golf meal Credit membership available from from £395 For bookings, or for further details, call 01243 775537, visit www.goodwood.com/golf, or email golf@goodwood.com.


July 2012 / Issue 212

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White retains Berkshire Trophy England international Josh White kept a firm grip on the Berkshire Trophy after fighting off the challenges of Matthew Fitzpatrick and his fellow Surrey colleague Tom Berry. The 20-year-old double Surrey champion’s aggregate score was three shots more than when he won in 2011, but it was good enough to secure him a memorable victory over his rivals. The Chipstead-based youngster, who made his full England debut against France last month at Rochester & Cobham, was well off the pace after an opening 74 over the Red Course. But a 67 on the Blue brought him back into contention, a shot behind halfway leaders Berry (Wentworth) and Sam Whitehead (Woburn). A third round 70 on the Red gave White a share of the lead, which he held on to over the closing 18 holes with a threeunder par 69, which included an eagle and three birdies.

Ahluwalia doubles up at Cuddington Birchwood Park’s Michael Ahluwalia notched up his second Pro-Am victory in the space of seven days, with a superb fourunder par 67 at Cuddington Golf Club in Surrey. Despite a three-club wind affecting his shots, Ahluwalia’s performance around the Banstead-based course ripped a strong field apart, proving his PGA Surrey Open ProAm at Gatton Manor triumph the

Michael Ahulawalia

week before was no fluke. “I came into some really good form at Gatton, and found some more of the same thing here,” he said, after picking up a cheque for £1,000. Four shots behind on level par 71 were Bill Hodkin (Performance Golf Studio), Michael McLean (Limpsfield Chart), Steve Purves (Leeds Castle), and David Callaway (Milford).

Addington nets top coaching award THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE GOLF CLUB

A Surrey golf club that has introduced 2000 children to golf over the last three years has won a top national award for its schools programme. Addington Court Golf Club, on the outskirts of Croydon, is among the winners of the 2012 Community Sport and Recreation Awards from the Sport and Recreation Alliance. It’s the third time in two years that the club has been recognised for its work with schools. Director of golf Paul Oliver, (pictured right), said: “We are thrilled to have won this award. We work hard with local schools and really enjoy seeing the children progress. This national award really is the icing on the cake.” The club was nominated by England Golf, and beat off the challenge from a host of other sports to win the School Links award. Addington Court’s PGA professionals take coaching sessions with 24 primary schools and 12 secondary schools in Croydon. The club has also forged links with pupil referral units, girls’ schools and sixth form colleges. It runs after-school sessions for 15 different groups every week, and has introduced an innovative coloured wristband scheme that motivates young people to develop their skills. Last year, Addington Court won the Golf Foundation’s Bonallack Award, given for a great school project, and earlier this year it was runner-up in England Golf’s GolfMark Club of the Year Award. Oliver and Head pro Simon Shepherd were presented with the £1,000 award by the Earl of Wessex at the Sport & Recreation Alliance’s annual meeting on July 19.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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F1 ace bags unique ‘hole-in-one’ Fore-wheel drive: David Coulthard achieved a recordbreaking ‘hole-in-one’ at Dunsfold Aerodrome

It wasn’t strictly golf, and it wasn’t strictly a hole-inone, but retired Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard earned himself a place in the record books last month, after successfully completing a daredevil stunt involving a golf ball and a fast car. The 35-year-old Scot, who retired from F1 in 2008, got behind the wheels of Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster at Dunsfold Park airfield in Surrey for the record-breaking attempt, with the aim of catching a golf ball in mid-flight while driving at speeds of over 120mph. The F1 star set one of the more unusual world records

Coulthard celebrates after catching the ball in the back of his car

with the help of a separate piece of skillful driving from up-and-coming English golf pro Jake Shepherd. The ball was launched off the tee by Shepherd, and travelled around 300 yards before dropping into the back of the car, as Coulthard tracked its flight and manoeuvred

the £200,000 sports car underneath it. The stunt, which was successful at only the second attempt, was captured on film

Barnes back in action at Par 3 Championship Six-time Ryder Cup player Brian Barnes is to compete in his first professional tournament for over 10 years, when he tees it up at Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire for next month’s British Par 3 Championship. Barnes was one of the most colourful and popular golfers of the 1970s and 80s. A nine-time winner on the European Tour, and dual Senior Open winners in the mid-90s, he was a charismatic and mercurial talent who could beat any player on his day – including Jack Nicklaus, who was famously on the receiving end of two Barnes-storming defeats on the same day during the 1975 Ryder Cup. Having suffered from rheumatoid arthritis in his wrists since 2000, Barnes has been prevented from playing the sport that he hasenjoyed since his early teens. With the condition now in remission, though he has been able to start playing golf in recent months, and is set to make a hugely popular return to professional tournament golf at the tender age of 67, when he plays in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, which begins on August 7. Throughout his career, Barnes was mentored by his father-in-law, the late former Open Champion Max Faulkner,

Barnes with his father-in-law, Max Faulkner, who also played in the Par 3 Championship

Barnes always cut a dash on the course

who was a great believer in Barnes’s talent. In attending the British Par 3 Championship this year, Barnes is yet again following in the footsteps of Faulkner, who played in the event from 1999-2001. Barnes has been warming up for his return to competitive golf at West Chiltington Golf Club in West Sussex, a course he helped design and set up with Faulkner in 1987. During May and June, Barnes offered

for a Mercedes Benz viral video commercial, which can be seen on YouTube. The impressive feat was also independently verified by a Guinness World Record adjudicator, who confirmed the achievement secured the title of ‘furthest golf shot caught in a moving car’. Speaking after bagging the unlikely ‘ace’, Coulthard said: “The only way for me to track the ball was to keep my eyes on it all the time. It was a real adrenaline rush, but it’s not the most comfortable thing to do, because for a moment, you’re not watching the road! I was as happy as I’ve ever been winning a Grand Prix, because I was so surprised, quite frankly, that it went in – and went in so solidly! I am honoured to have received the Guinness World Record for the furthest golf shot caught in a car.”

rounds with himself at the course to raise money for a pair of local charities, which further cemented his thoughts of returning to competitive action. This year’s British Par 3 Championship is once again being hosted by another Ryder Cup legend, Tony Jacklin. Joining Jacklin on the Cromwell Course at Nailcote Hall are a cast list of legends of the game, including Ian Woosnam, Alison Nicholas, Larry Laoretti, Gary Wolstenholme, Tommy Horton, as well as a host of current European Tour stars, including Marc Warren, Graeme Storm and Scott Jamieson. The tournament runs from August 7-10 at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire. For ticket information, visit www.britishpar3.com.

Aces high in Dorset! They must have put something in the pretournament coffee at Dorset Golf & Country Club last month, after an extraordinary hat-trick of aces were recorded on the same day in the same competition at the Bere Regis venue. The Kingsley Cup, which is played in memory of the late Kingsley Whiffen, who encouraged and supported the club’s junior section, saw a trio of hole-in-ones achieved by three different players. Glen Edwards, a fivehandicapper, started the magical run of aces when he holed out at the 7th hole with a solid 8-iron. Garry Lewis, playing off 23, was next to hole out with his tee shot, again at the 7th hole, also with an 8-iron.  Playing in the same group as Lewis was fivehandicapper Julian Flower, who aced the 17th hole with a 6-iron to complete the remarkable feat.


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July 2012 / Issue 212

Richmond renovations under way Work has begun on the construction of a new clubhouse at Richmond Park Golf Course in Surrey, one of the busiest and most popular public facilities in the south east of England. The new facilities, which include a café area and an enlarged and improved pro shop, are due to open in late 2012. Richmond Park, which offers two 18-hole public golf courses, is managed and run by Glendale Golf, who took on the lease in October 2004. The development of a new clubhouse was part of the initial contract agreement between Glendale and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, although planning permission for the project was only granted in December last year. The new clubhouse development required the demolition of the existing facilities at Roehampton Gate and the construction of new facilities at Chohole Gate on the south east corner of the course. The new building will provide golfers with a wide range of facilities, including a large reception area, function rooms, professional’s shop, club rooms, changing

facilities, and a café with views over the courses. A new 164-space car park is also being constructed, and there are plans for a 20-bay driving range and a new academy course. The new facility will incorporate a variety of ecologically-sustainable technologies, including photovoltaic panels, ground source heat pumps, and a water recycling system. The roof of the clubhouse will be made of acid grass, which will allow the gently sloping building to blend into the landscape. A wildlife pond will also be created in front of the clubhouse to support local habitats. “The new clubhouse will provide a nicer, more welcoming environment for our golfers to spend their time,” commented Brian Lafferty, manager for Richmond Park Golf Course. “Hopefully the new clubhouse

will appeal to existing players and attract new ones who want to take up the game.” Minor disruption is expected as the work to the new clubhouse gets under way over the coming months, however Mr Lafferty believes it will have minimal impact on the daily activities at the club. “With two 18hole courses available, so there will always be enough space for our regulars to continue playing. By keeping our players and local residents informed about the progress of the clubhouse construction, we hope that they will be patient and join us in anticipating the finished product.” The development of the new clubhouse will take place alongside a series of course improvements, including the construction of seven new greens and eight new tees at the 36-hole complex.

Lovelace cleans up at new-look Kingswood Alan Lovelace

Merrist Wood pro Alan Lovelace defied strong winds to return to winning form in the Kingswood Charity Pro-Am. South region pros came out in force to support the Anthony Nolan Trust, which raises money for stem cell transplants, and it was Lovelace who triumphed, shooting a level par to edge out Guy Woodman (East Berks) and Bill Hodkin (Performance Golf) by one shot to take the £1,000 winner’s cheque. Lovelace, starting from the 10th at the recentlylengthened 6,916-yard Kingswood course, made up for early dropped shots with four birdies in difficult scoring conditions, and was delighted to get a win under his belt, having struggled in recent weeks. “I’ve been struggling with my swing for weeks, and my driving still isn’t up to scratch, but it’s very nice to shoot a good round on a course like Kingswood, especially now it’s a much tougher test of golf,” he said. “This win is just what I needed to encourage me to work on my game, cut out the loose shots, and focus on the birdie opportunities.”


July 2012 / Issue 212

Sussex teenager Emma Carberry brightened up an otherwise gloomy two days at Wetherby Golf Club with a sparking display to win the English Women’s Open MidAmateur Championship. The 19-year-old from Highwoods was seven under par for the 36 holes, shooting rounds of 71 and 68 to finish three shots clear of her nearest challenger, Surrey’s Kirsty Rands. Carberry, who has just completed her first year at Baylor University in America, dedicated her first major win to her late grandfather, Eric Derry, saying: “I lost my grandad in April, and this is for him. He used to say to me: ‘Isn’t it time you won a tournament?’”
 He would have been delighted by the strength of the field she beat, which included two members of GB&I’s winning Curtis Cup team, English Kelly Tidy and Amy Boulden, and international Hayley Davis.
 The championship was disrupted by bad weather

/ 13

Carberry claims Mid-Amateur title

from the outset. Play was suspended for a total of 3½ hours on the first day, washed out completely on the second day, then suspended on the third day for an hour when a thunderstorm swept over the course. The repeated delays forced a change of format from matchplay to a 36-hole stroke play event. Carberry went out for the final round with a plan to play to par, but instead she

Dunbar takes Amateur title

Alan Dunbar became the latest golfer from Northern Ireland to light up the golfing world after winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Troon. The 23-year-old defeated Austrian teenager Matthias Schwab by one hole to become the third Northern Irish winner, after Michael Hoey in 2001 and Garth McGimpsey in 1985.   The Portrush amateur took the Amateur Championship trophy back to Northern Ireland, hard on the heels of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy winning the 2010 and 2011 US Opens, and Darren Clarke’s victory in last year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s.  Dunbar’s experience trumped the 17-year-old Austrian in the first final to go all 36 holes since Spain’s Alejandro Larrazabal defeated Martin Sell at Royal Porthcawl in 2002.  Dunbar and Schwab exchanged the lead five times in the final, in one of the most closely fought matches in the history of the Amateur Championship. Dunbar’s experience paid off in the end, with the

Rathmore amateur holing key putts at crucial times.   “My putting was great all week,” Dunbar said. “I struggled with the long game as the week went on, and I had to rely on my putting.”  Dunbar’s experience of winning the 2009 St Andrews Links Trophy and winning two points in last year’s victorious GB & Ireland Walker Cup team paid off over the last two holes. He made pars at 17 and 18, while Schwab failed to get up and down to save par on both. The match ended when the young Austrian missed his four-foot par putt on the final green. In earlier rounds, there was success tinged with disappointment for a trio of South East players, including Kent’s Todd Adcock and the Worthing-based pair of Jack Bartlett and Toby Tree. All three made it through to the final 16, with Adcock and Bartlett being knocked out in their opening match play encounters, while Tree reached the quarter-finals before being dispatched at the first extra hole of a closely-fought match with Scotland’s Jack McDonald.

There’s Links at the end of the tunnel

notched up six birdies and just one bogey to take the title with room to spare. “I was shaking on the 18th, and trying to keep my nerves together – and I hit my best drive of the day! I’m just over the moon,”
was her reaction on winning the biggest title of her career. “It’s been a tough year, and I’ve learned a lot about my game. I’ve worked really hard, and I’m a much better player,” she said.



Hayling Golf Links Limited Country Membership - Be a country member of one the truly great links courses in the South East. Hayling Golf Club is even more accessible to country membership with the opening of the new Hindhead tunnel on the A3. The journey from Surrey, Berkshire and South London will only take a short while.

Corbin claims course record Carl Corbin notched a notable victory for the laidback golfer when he broke the course record for an amateur at Wokefield Park last month. Playing in the Berkshire club’s Jubilee Cup, Corbin shot a seven-under par 65 to beat the previous amateur record, and equal the best ever round from a professional set by Jamie Spence. Corbin, 27, played at county and regional level, before earning a golf scholarship at Bethune Cookman University in Florida between 2004 and 2008. He set his sights on becoming a professional, but after he just missed out at the Qualifying School for the European Tour in 2008, golf took a back seat. “Having not been playing seriously for a while, I’ve been very relaxed on the course – just going out there and thinking ‘whatever happens, happens’,” said Corbin, who plays off a handicap of plus two. “My approach to golf now is just to go out there and enjoy it.,”he added. “It’s really nice to have finally got the course record, but it feels strange that now I’m not practising or playing all the time, I actually did it. It seems to have happened the wrong way round! This has certainly made me think about perhaps getting back into playing more and maybe turning pro.”

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      


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July 2012 / Issue 212

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July 2012 / Issue 212

West Chiltington celebrates silver jubilee!

West Chiltington has matured into a pretty parkland course since it opened in 1987

West Chiltington Golf Club in West Sussex is celebrating its 25th anniversary by hosting an Open tournament in September. Designed by golfing legends Max Faulkner and son-in-law Brian Barnes, the 18-hole woodland course, which is laid out over 100 acres of pretty downland countryside, took three years to build and first opened in 1987. Since then an additional

9-hole course has been added to create a stunning 27-hole facility. Barnes and Faulkner spent many happy years playing together on the two courses, with the latter enjoying regular rounds right up until his death in 2005. Barnes, who is making a comeback to competitive golf following an injury, still plays regularly at the club, which is now under the ownership of the Ormrod family.

The club will be marking the 25th anniversary on September 23 by hosting an Open Championship of its own, where prizes worth over £2,000 will be up for grabs, and there will be a party atmosphere at the club throughout the day. The club is also hosting a Ladies Open on September 17, for which entry is open up until August 17. For more details on either event, call 01798 813574.

Brooks claims Colts title Joe Brooks from Brickendon Grange won the Herts Colts Championship at Porters Park following a two-hole play-off with Ben Smith (Sandy Lodge). The two tied on 142, both having shot a pair of 71s in the 36-hole event. They halved the first hole at Porters Park, then won the 18th hole with a par. Aaron Frost (Knebworth) was third on 144, while England international Callum Shinkwin finished fourth, after a costly seven on the final hole saw him miss out on the play off.

Jayne’s in command at Moor Park!

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Retired army major Jayne Errington will be flying the flag for Great Britain in Spain later this year, after winning the opening qualifying event of the 2012 Pandora Ladies Golf Cup held at Moor Park on June 27. Jayne, a former member of the British Army Ladies Golf team, bagged an impressive 36 Stableford points around the Hertfordshire club’s testing High Course to earn herself an invitation to represent Team England in an all-expenses paid World Final, which is being held in Spain in November. Jayne’s score, which won the 0-18 handicap category, was also matched by Aundrea Insinna in the 19-30 handicap section, with the place in the world final only being decided on countback. Further qualifying events for the Ladies Golf Cup are being held at Burhill Golf Club and Brocket Hall Golf Club. For details visit www. omsports.com/ladiesgolfcupUK.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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The green at the Puncn Bowl par-3 fifth proved a tough target to find

By Matt Nicholson

Perez books place in Miami After suffering the full force of the British summer at Brocket Hall last month, for the opening Flying Club Gold members day, a group of hardy golfers descended on Mannings Heath Golf Club on July 2, with the hope of enjoying some calmer weather in sunny West Sussex. Sadly, their luck was out, as it proceeded to chuck it down for most of the day at the beautiful Horsham-based venue. Thankfully, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members are made of sterner stuff, and the rain failed the dampen the spirits of the competitors, whose hearts and hands – were warmed by a full English breakfast on arrival, a packed goody bag, with included Glenmuir socks, Srixon balls and the finest read in golf! and a welcoming cup

Mannings Heath Golf Club proved a fitting venue for the second of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club Gold members days, although competitors were once again asked to brave the ‘Great British summer’

Competitors gather for a pre-match briefing from the organisers

of hot chocolate at the Waterfall Course’s renowned half-way house, renamed on this occasion as the ‘Virgin Atlantic Swing Inn’, while the food grill on the firs tee also proved a popular stopping point following a shot-gun start.

Many players were helped to limber up with a pre-game massage from the Virgin Atlantic beauty therapists, while there was a similarly long queue for a post-round rub after enduring a testing round over the demanding 18-

hole championship course. Unfortunately nobody managed to hole-in-one at the famous Punch Bowl 5th 165-yard hole to claim the BMW but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Those who were unable to get out onto the golf course – and some of those that did – also availed themselves of a free golf lesson from Mannings Heath’s

resident teaching and ex Tour professional, Carl Watts and his staff, who offered some quick tips and advice, many of which were put into practice. After a superb post-round lunch, the overall winner on the day was announced as Ashley Perez, who now joins Brocket Hall winner Steve Randall, on the European team for the Swingers Final, which is being held at Turnberry Isle in Miami later this year. Everybody went home smiling, after what has to

have been one of the best golf days around. For more details on the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Swingers Golf League visit www.flyingclubgolfleague.com.  


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July 2012 / Issue 212

Crown launches corporate

Crown Golf has launched a new membership scheme in a bid to attact corporate golfers to its venues. Corporate Play is a reciprocal deal that will give companies access to 25 of the operator’s golf clubs in England, including the company’s flagship property, St Mellion in Cornwall. The membership, which is priced according

to the number of fourballs a company needs per day, also includes an annual company golf day for up to 16 golfers, which can be held at any of the venues. The package also includes discounted conferencing opportunities, free Wi-Fi and, for members, a dedicated concierge booking service. Crown Golf, Britain’s largest owner of golf venues,

has been keen to tap into the financial potential of UK companies, from which many golf clubs benefit. Stephen Lewis, chief executive, said: “We are frequently called by firms looking for good value business golf terms. They use golf facilities to build relationships, establish new contacts and reward clients and employees. We’ve listened to what

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important short game, Having more than the The15thClub is a versatile training allotted 14 clubs in the15thclub gives tool for all levels of golfer golfers the opportunity the bag is an absolute disaster for golfers, as to incorporate it into every aspect of their it can result in up to a four-shot penalty practice routine. Use it to mark out a if discovered after specific yardages when you’ve teed off in a competition. However, hitting wedges, lay there is a new training it around the hole to aid being launched on create a visual target the market that is set when chipping and put a more positive putting, or lie it down across your target line spin on the concept to aid alignment on all of having an extra tool in the bag. shots – the15thclub is the ultimate tool for The15thClub is improving all elements actually not a club at all, rather a foldable 136cmof your game. In addition to its long steel pole that resembles a marker post versatility as a practice tool, the foldable that you might find on the fairway. Part-target, design of the15thclub, which weighs just 2lbs, part-directional tool, means that it can be kept in any type or size the15thclub has a wide variety of uses that can help golfers of every skill level. of golf bag, and can be pulled out whenever and wherever required. Priced at £22.99 + From aiding general flexibility, enabling £4.99p&p, The15thClub can be bought golfers to warm up and prepare properly, to online at www.the15thclub.co.uk. providing a tool to help focus on the all-

Ball breaks golf endurance r They breed them tough in the British Army, but few come tougher than Captain Stuart Ball, who has set a new unofficial world record for endurance golf, after completing 432 holes in five days as part of a fund-raising effort for children who have lost parents in the forces. Armed with his trusty TaylorMade Burner 6-iron, and Skycaddie GPS system to speed up play, Ball managed to play 24 rounds in total, covering over 150 miles in the process.

Record breaker: Stuart Ball celebrates after playing 432 holes in five days


July 2012 / Issue 212

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scheme

they have been telling us and have designed a new corporate golf product which we believe will undoubtedly meet their needs. Corporate Play offers companies a costeffective and versatile golf membership. We believe it offers the best value for companies based in the south of England who want to regularly entertain their customers at a golf club.”

You’ll be flushing it on our fairways... Lady Taverners’ Day raises £4,300 A total of £4,300 was raised at the third charity golf day organised by the Chiltern Region Lady Taverners at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. Twelve teams took part in the event and after lunch the prizes were presented by Joan Morecambe the founder president of the Lady Taverners, whose late husband, comedian Eric Morecambe, was a former president of the Lord’s Taverners. The winning team of four, led by Ian Haddock and Kay Wardley, each received a £50 voucher from the pro shop at Luton Hoo and lunch in the Adam’s Brasserie. The event also included a charity raffle, which raised £1,400. The highest bids were for two sets of four tickets for the West End musical Top Hat including a backstage tour. The lots were donated by Kenny Wax, producer of the musical, who took part in the golf day with the Top Hatters team.

Hepworth holds on at Collingtree

(l-r) Moor Park captain John Parsons with Tillman Trophy runner-up David Boote, Bill Tillman and overall winner Alasdair Dalgliesh

Dalgliesh scores at Moor Park Alasdair Dalgliesh of Haywards Heath has won the prestigious Tillman Trophy 2012 after beating David Boote (Walton Heath) in a play-off. Both players finished on 10-under par after 72 holes of regulation play, with Dalgliesh carding a final round 65 to catch Boote, who shot a closing 70, to add to his earlier rounds of 65, 66 and 74. Enfield’s Harry Casey looked the likely winner after shooting an impressive a 12-under par 60 in the first round, but he came back to the pack with rounds of 71, 76 and 70, to finish third on eight under par. Defending champion Henry Smart of Banstead Downs Golf Club failed to make the cut after posting rounds of 72 and 73. The tournament attracted a field of 127 players, with 54 making it through to the final two rounds, after the cut fell at one over par.

A one-over-par final round of 73 was good enough for Yorkshireman James Hepworth to win the EuroPro Tour’s WSL Open on a blustery final day’s play at Collingtree Park in Northampton. The Ilkley-based professional, who opened up with rounds of 66 and 69 in more benign conditions, didn’t get off to the best start on a difficult final day, bogeying the first and fifth holes, but a birdie at the par-five 14th gave him the outright lead. However, Paul Doherty, who started the round two shot behind Hepworth, drew level at the 15th thanks to a string of four birdies around the turn. But his fortunes took a dive when he dropped shot at the par-four 17th, leaving Hepworth to make a par at the last to take the title with an eightunder par total.

record for Army orphans Leading golf group Crown Golf backed The Enduro Golf 360 Challenge by offering its golf facilities free of charge, and by supplying golf equipment and refreshments throughout the week. The marathon effort took place between the on five different golf courses – Cams Hall Estate, South Winchester Sherfield Oaks, Blue Mountain and Hampton Court Palace. The record-breaking romp came to its blistering climax at 9.15pm at Hampton Court on July 6, where Ball, an

officer in the Royal Logistic Corps who lives in Odiham in Hampshire, ignored the pain from his feet and an injured left knee to play the final round accompanied by highranking Army officers and other friends and supporters. “It’s fantastic to have achieved what we think is a world record,” said 32-year-old Ball. “But it means nothing unless people donate to Scotty’s Little Soldiers and also to Help For Heroes. Scotty’s in particular needs to raise awareness, so please

donate what you can. I have two young children myself, so Scotty’s Little Solders is very close to my heart. They are doing amazing work to help families who have lost loved ones on the front line. My own wife Debra, who has been incredibly supportive throughout, feels the same as I do about Scotty’s, and the love of your family is what keeps a soldier going – whether on the front line, or doing something like I have just done.” To make a donation, visit www.bmycharity.com/Stuball79.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

Nick Bayly catches up with former World Long Drive Champion Joe Miller as he bids to get his big swing back in action following a shoulder injury

Miller Time Is ripping shoulder muscles all part and parcel of hitting the ball miles? Yes and no. Long drivers all get injured from time to time, but if you train well and have the right technique, then it’s not inherently a hazardous sport from an injury standpoint. Having said that, I did break my toe when I won the World Championship in 2010. I felt it pop on the follow through on my winning drive.

What was your winning distance that day? It was 414 yards. A good week’s work, I’m guessing? The winner’s prize was $150,000, so not too shabby. And your longest ever drive? It was 474 yards at the European Championships in 2005.

me out onto the course. I was club champion at the age of 15 and got a bit of a reputation for hitting it a long way, and it just went on from there. Long driving is part of who I am now – it’s just so much fun.

What do you do away from the competitions? I train at a body building gym in Barnet, so I spend a lot of time in there. I don’t do too much golfspecific training, I just focus on the major muscle groups. I’m also an ambassador for Callaway Golf, and I’m a part of their events team, so I do a lot of demonstrations at events such as Golf Live, the London Golf Show, European Tour venues, as well as big corporate events, and golf clubs. Callaway’s support has been fantastic. I really enjoy being part of the technical development team.

No Ordinary Joe: Millar has become one of the most consistent performers on the long driving circuit since winning the world title in 2010

Pounding balls for three days at Golf Live can’t have helped your shoulder. That was actually a lot of fun. It’s great doing demos with regular golfers and trying to get them to hit a few yards farther, as well as showing off what I can do. It’s also great to meet up with tour players, and to play alongside legends such as Gary Player and Colin Montgomerie, as I did at Golf Live. Do you need to be part-athlete, part-showman? Yes, long driving is not for shy, retiring types. It’s kind of like trick shot specialists. There’s an element of show business about it, and you need to make it entertaining, otherwise it’s just watching me hit balls into the distance. Do you have a few party tricks for your demo days? Yeah, a couple. I like to pull out a putter and hit shots with it off a tee. I’ve hit it over 300 yards with an Odyssey 2-Ball, so my short game is in pretty good shape, too! Are you a bit bored of people asking whether you’ve got a rubbish short game? Yes, it’s a common misconception, and my iron play and putting are pretty good, thanks! I just happen to be able to hit the ball a long way, and people are prepared to pay me to do it, so it seems like a reasonable career choice. How did you get into golf? I started hitting golf balls when I was about four. My dad used to play, and he got me into it initially. He gave me a cut down 4-iron and would take

to long driving, as you can have all the speed in the world, but if it’s not applied correctly, at the right angles, it does not work. As far as equipment goes, I use Callaway’s RAZR Hawk driver for competitions. It has four degrees of loft. The shaft, which is a bit stiffer than those used on Tour, has a much higher kick point than on a standard driver, with lower torque, which keeps the ball lower and straighter. Miller, who is part of Callaway Golf’s demo team, practices his long driving at The Shire

It’s an exciting opportunity to work with golfers of all ages and skill levels, helping them to develop their long game. Where do you practise? I’m a member at The Shire in Hertfordshire, and that’s where I practise. The driving range, at 250 yards, isn’t long enough for me, but there’s a rugby field over the hedge at the back, so there’s plenty of room. I must lose about 10,000 balls a year in the woods, but the club doesn’t seem to mind. What are the basic principles of long driving? Wide stance, soft hands, big shoulder turn, even bigger wrist hinge, huge hip turn and a late snap. Simple. It’s all about understanding the correct delivery line and the angle of attack, keeping the left arm and clubhead aligned at impact, so that you don’t release too early and lose all that stored up power.

What you put your success down to? I’m 6ft 4 inches tall and weigh over 19 stone, so I’ve got the physical makeup to hit it long, but, to be honest, it’s more about technique than it is raw power and strength. Big muscles can only take you part of the way. So what kind of diet are you on? I wouldn’t call it a diet, more the opposite. I do eat quite a lot – around 8,000 calories a day, but I also spend a lot of time in the gym to work that off. I tend to have between six and eight meals a day. I eat a lot of eggs (six for breakfast), chicken, rice, pasta and steak. I also drink a lot of whey protein shakes. You’ve had your swing speed measured at over 225mph. What kinds of club specifications and flex shaft are we talking about to produce those kind of numbers? Swing speed can be a slightly misleading figure when it comes

Do you cave the face in on drivers on daily basis? I’ve probably broken over 100 clubfaces during my seven-year long driving career, but the club tends to break at the point where the face is welded to the crown, rather than simply caving the face in. What restrictions are placed on equipment for competitions? The clubhead volume has to be 460cc, and the shaft can’t be longer than 50 inches, and tees can’t be longer than four inches. They supply the golf balls. What’s next on the schedule ? Trying to get back in shape for the competitive season, which culminates at the World Long Driving finals in Nevada in October. I’ll be ready to hit balls again soon, and the doctors tell me I’ll be in better shape than I was before the operation, so hopefully I’ll stay fit and stay competitive.


July 2012 / Issue 212

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Bruce McDonald

ajor

Bucks end 34 years of hurt

Photo finish at Epsom Bruce McDonald (Pentland Golf) and Andrew Butterfield (Sundridge Park) produced a photo finish at the PGA South Region Pro-Am at Epsom, tying with two-under-par 68s. The winners were the only players to break par on a day when the wind threatened to overwhelm the event. Both players found they had what it took to handle one of the region’s most original courses. Laid out well over 100 years ago, the greens are completely natural and full of small swales and humps, leading McDonald to state that he’d never seen greens like them – a sentiment with which co-winner Butterfield completely agreed. “The greens were unbelievable – great surfaces, but very tricky to read,” Butterfield said. “It’s definitely a course to play to understand how golf used to be, before all the courses were designed and built professionally. For a pro-am, it’s a great experience.”

There’s an old saying that goes something along the lines of ‘those that can, do; and those that can’t, teach’. It’s a rather unfair assessment of the teaching profession in general, and certainly not an idiom that applies to 34-year-old PGA Professional Ryan Fenwick, whose golfing CV proves that he’s rather good at both. Fenwick, who is now based at Goodwood Golf Club, following a move from Slinfold earlier this year, is proof that top-flight golfers can also become excellent coaches – not something that is always true in a profession where passing on skills is not quite so straightforward as in other sports or career paths. Fenwick came through the same England Boys’ team that produced players of the calibre of Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Simon Dyson, although he readily admits that he never quite made it to their dizzy heights. Turning professional in 2000, he enjoyed a five-year career on the European Challenge Tour, and the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, competing in 16 different countries and winning in Johannesburg in 2005. On the domestic front, Fenwick won the Sussex Open in 2006, and again last

Buckinghamshire has reached the finals of the Women’s English Counties Championship for the first time in 34 years. They claimed their place at County Finals at East Devon in September when they won the Midland South Region county match week at Mentmore. Their success made up for last year’s disappointment, when they lost out on the top spot on countback to Northamptonshire. This time round they won four points out of a possible five, beating Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Berkshire and Warwickshire. They were beaten only by Worcestershire & Herefordshire. County captain Sue Lee commented: “I am on cloud nine! I am so pleased and proud that Buckinghamshire have won the Midland South county match week. We knew it was possible after we came so close last year, but this win has been a long time coming, and we are all excited about competing in the finals in September.”

championship wins 18 : MASTERS • 17 : US OPEN 5 : THE OPEN • 19 : USPGA

Fenwick finds his feet at Goodwood

year, and only last month he collected the prestigious Sussex PGA title at Royal Ashdown Forest, with his twounder par total around the testing layout showing that he still has what it takes to cut it on the competitive scene. But it is the ability to pass on his talent, knowledge of swing mechanics, and psychological understanding of what it takes to compete at the highest levels, that motivates him these days. A fully qualified PGA professional, Fenwick is now a central part of the teaching

team at Goodwood, a 36hole facility that provides a winning combination of affordable membership mixed with quality facilities The lead coach for Sussex County golf, as well as the current England regional and ASSE coach, Fenwick has taken a growing number of county players, England internationals, and aspiring young professionals on the developmental tours, under his expert wing. He has also been working with rising Ladies European Tour player Hannah Ralph.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

Being close to a major motorway has several benefits, at least when it comes to being a golf club. Golfers can quickly and conveniently travel to their chosen destination, while for the clubs themselves, it helps to significantly widen the catchment area. In the minus column, however – especially for those that have six lanes of traffic passing their front door, is the noise. There are numerous fine championship venues I can think of in this country whose courses are ruined by the constant drone of cars and lorries, turning what should be a relaxing escape from the grim realities of daily life into just another slightly annoying experience. Looking at the Google Earth map of Lullingstone Park on my computer, I could perhaps have been forgiven for thinking that the latter might be the case at this popular venue near Orpington, which first opened in 1967, when the M25 was still but a brain child in the mind’s eye of some urban planner. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong, and although Lullingstone looks close to the London orbital on the map, in reality it’s a world away when you come to tee off on either the 18-hole Castle Course or the 9-hole Valley Course, both of which occupy a stunning position within the beautiful 500-acre Lullingstone Country Park. Instead of being interrupted by the sound of squeaking brakes, all you can hear is the occasional thud of titanium on urethane, the clip-clopping of a horse’s hoof, and the unmistakable sound of skylarks, as they gently hover and flit overhead. Here, golfers rub shoulders, although not literally, with all sorts of other leisure activities, from rambling

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Prepare to have a good walk enhanced when you play the picturesque and challenging 27 holes at Lullingstone Park Golf Course in Kent

Park Life

With far-reaching views, and an entertaining layout, every round at Lullingstone is a delight

and botany, to horse riding and family picnics, all of which are accommodated within this beautiful estate. History has it that the land was donated by the Hart Dyke family, owners of Lullingstone Castle, in lieu of some death duties. Today, the castle, which stands guard in the eastern corner of the estate, is still lived in by the 20th generation of the same family, and its World Garden, built by Tom Hart Dyke, attracts thousands of visitors each year. Up until 2004, the golf course was managed by Sevenoaks District Council, but it is now run by Sencio Community Leisure, a public trust that continues to ensure the course offers affordable golf. The Castle Course, which is the undoubted centrepiece of the park, was designed by the esteemed architect Fred Hawtree, and first opened for play 45 years ago. The course starts off gently with a flat, dare I say it, rather benign par four, in the manner of a traditional parkland layout, and could easily be thought of as ‘just’ another boring old public

golf course, where every hole seems to remind you of the one before. But all that changes the minute you emerge from the walk through the woods to reach the second tee, which opens out to a wide-screen, 3-D, HD, panoramic view of the fabulously verdant Kent countryside – or more specifically, Darenth Valley. At 6,713 yards off the white tees, the Castle is one of the longest public courses in the country, and while

The restaurant and bar is popular with visitors and members alike

The grass on the fairways is kept slightly longer than normal, which gives golfers a chance to get under the ball, while the greens are smooth and nicely paced, and allow you to have a solid run at the hole. The rough, a talking point at most clubs at this time of the year, is deep when you stray too far off the fairways, and will require an automatic reload unless you want to spend the afternoon looking at straw. That said, the fairways, and semi-rough, are generous, and nothing slightly offline will be unplayable. Among the many highlights is the eighth, a 381-yard par four, which sweeps down off the tee and then rises up to the green, while the 553yard 11th is a superb par five, where the green is protected by a bunker on the left-hand side and trees on the right-hand side. A bogey will feel like a par here. A few more fairway and greenside bunkers, and the addition of a few water hazards, could considerably ramp up the challenge on several holes, but it would merely serve to extend what can already be quite a long round, so the design is just about right. The adjacent 9-hole Valley Course offers a bit of respite from the Castle, although the 2,381-yard, par-33 layout places a heavy emphasis on accurate the yellows take it down to a more manageable 6,286 yards, the natural contours on the land ensure that this is not a course that can be rolled over from any of the tees. With many of the shots played up to raised greens, or from sloping fairways, good club selection is paramount, while many holes play slightly shorter or longer than the yardage on the scorecard, depending on their elevation and the direction of the prevailing wind.

stroke play, with its narrow tree-lined fairways and small greens providing a solid test for all levels of golfer. The first five holes are probably as good as you will find on a public course anywhere, with the short 4th, played across a valley to a green that has been cut into the side of the slope, a particular highlight. The sloping 6th, 7th and 8th holes will challenge the accuracy and shot-shaping ability of any player. Besides these two courses described, Lullingstone also offers a lovely little 9-hole pitch-and-putt course, with holes between 50 and 75 yards making it ideal for little ones starting out in the game, as well as not so little ones looking to sharpen up their wedge play. There is also a driving range and a well-maintained practice putting green. After a round on any of the courses, few golfers give up the opportunity of a drink and a bite to eat in The Lodge, a cosy full service bar and restaurant operated at the golf course. With a wide choice of home-cooked food and snacks, and a view over the 18th green, it’s well placed for visitors to relax after or before a game. The course operates a membership,

with over 280 active golfers enjoying the privilege in a variety of categories, some paying full seven-day rates of £795, while others take advantage of the £260 Senior Citizens annual season ticket that entitles bearers to pay just £3.50 for a round on either course. Membership of the club costs an additional £50, which allows members to play in club competitions. Visitor green fee rates are just £19.50 during the week for adults (18-59), rising to £26 at weekends. Afternoon starters can play the Castle for £9.99 after 1pm, while there is 2-for-1 on all green fees on Tuesdays. Buggies are popular on the Castle Course, and there is a fleet of 15 vehicles to cater for non-walkers’ needs, although prebooking is advisable. Experienced Head PGA Professional Mark Watt, and his assistant Kenny Stephenson, run the tidy pro shop, which stocks many of the major equipment brands, and the pair also offer a wide range of lessons for groups and individuals, starting at just £20 for a half-hour lesson. So whether you are simply after a walk in the park, or something a little more challenging with a golf bag on your back, my advice is to get yourself down to Lullingstone, where quality and quantity goes hand in hand.

Exclusive Golf News £20 Summer Society Special! Tea/coffee and bacon rolls on arrival; 18 holes on the Castle Course; ham, egg and chips for lunch. £20 per player (minimum 10 players, Mon-Fri only Ts and Cs apply).

For all tee time bookings and membership enquiries, call 01959 533793 or visit www.lullingstonegolfcourse.co.uk


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July 2012 / Issue 212

In an extract from his new autobiography, Colin Montgomerie reveals the high and lows of his 20-year association with the Ryder Cup, from his surprise exclusion from the 2008 matches, to his career-topping captaincy of the winning team in 2010 Every Ryder Cup captain approaches the job from a different angle, one that reflects his personal ideas of what constitutes ideal preparation. Take, for example, lan Woosnam in 2006. Woosie is a lovely, honest man who believes in loyalty and close bonds. As a player he took this approach into the Ryder Cup with a ‘brothers-in-arms’ attitude, always prepared to put himself on the line if it would help the team’s cause, but never one to point the finger of blame if things were not going well. Off the course, he was laidback, happy to enjoy a pint or two without having to be front of stage. So how did he marry these two aspects of his character in his role as captain? He engaged the services of a psychologist. Ian knew what he wanted – an incredibly strong unity within the team – and with the help of Jamil Querishi, he felt more confident about getting that across to the players. I admired Woosie’s foresight in recognising this was an aspect of his captaincy that could be strengthened. He was willing to do whatever it took to

help the team. The fact that in 2010 I chose not to bring in a psychologist does not mean I thought it was a bad idea. Jamil was a magician as well as a psychologist, and, during the week at the K Club, he performed tricks and devised a

My Ryder Cup Regrets variety of exercises designed to help the team bond. Employing a table magician for dinner times because I had seen it was a good way to bring people together, besides serving as a welcome distraction at a time when nerves were elbowing their way to the fore. In the summer prior to the 2008 Ryder Cup, Nick Faldo arranged for a group of the players most likely to make the team to attend a hightech gym facility to help them with their fitness. Once again, I think this illustrates how the character of the captain is reflected in his preparation. Throughout his playing career, Nick prided himself on being in the best condition of anyone on the Tour - both physically and in the technical aspects of his swing. It worked for him, that’s for sure, so why wouldn’t he give his players the same opportunities? It makes sense, especially when you remember that Nick’s team had to battle the potentially debilitating heat of Kentucky. Monitoring various aspects of a player’s conditioning might have highlighted a problem that could then have been remedied in advance. Needless to say, I had no such concerns about temperature in Wales, and decided it was better to leave the fitness of individuals to the individuals

themselves. Let’s face it, it would hardly have rung true had I insisted on gym work for my players. I would have come across as a fraud, and it would have undermined my role. In Nick’s case it would have been quite the opposite. It was through just such preparation that Nick won six Majors, so who wouldn’t listen to what he was saying? To reiterate: there is no right or wrong approach to being Ryder Cup captain. There is no rule book; no job description; you just have to do the

just before the qualifying process for Nick Faldo’s 2008 Ryder Cup began but, even so, I was confident my form that week would help to make me one or other of an automatic choice for his team, via the Order of Merit, or a pick. After all, the match was in the US, a happy hunting ground for me in a Ryder Cup context. At that point, I felt sure that if anyone was to write down the twelve most likely players for Valhalla, I would have been among them. Good in theory, but I wasn’t banking

“I was devastated at being left out of that side of 2008. I couldn’t quite take in that my Ryder Cup playing days were at an end” best you can in the way that suits you. All three of us – Woosie, Nick and myself – went about our business in different ways, but each of those ways was equally valid. As with the preparations, every captain also has a different view of what constitutes his best team - the balance between experience and youth, the mix of personalities, the different playing styles. That’s why the captain’s picks are never straightforward. My European Open win in 2007 came

on my game taking a severe dip. Whether it was because I wanted to play in the 2008 team too much and put myself under pressure, I don’t know, but something happened, and the confidence I had enjoyed since 2004 all but evaporated. I was doing okay – a second place in the French Open in June 2008 showed I still had something in the tank – but no better than that. Eventually it became clear that Nick’s two selections were going to come from a quartet comprising myself, Paul


July 2012 / Issue 212

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Montgomerie played a pivotal role in the 2006 Ryder Cup victory in Ireland, bu t was dropped from the 2008 team

Casey, Ian Poulter and Darren Clarke, and of the four I had to accept that in golfing terms I was definitely last, so I had to hope that Nick would adopt a Langeresque view about America and give Darren and me the wilds cards on account of our experience. D-Day fell, as in 2010, on the Sunday evening of the Johnnie Walker championship at Gleneagles. Both Darren and I were there, although well down the field, and I decided to head home before the tournament ended. It was only a short drive, and I knew Nick would phone with the news, whichever way it went. I was on another call when Nick rang, so in the end I learned my fate from a well-worded voicemail. ‘Unfortunately on this occasion I can’t select you, Colin. Your performances through the year just haven’t been “Monty” enough to make you a pick. I’m sorry’. It hit me hard. After almost twenty years I thought, is this it? I knew making the 2010 team would be a long shot, so had my Ryder Cup life just come to an end courtesy of a recorded message? It was no one’s fault, but somehow that did not seem appropriate and it hurt. I immediately phoned Darren to see if he had heard. Having won the previous week at the KLM Open, and earlier in the year in Asia, I felt sure he would have made it. He hadn’t. Nick had decided to go for Casey and Poulter. Fair enough: it was his decision, based on what he thought would work best in America and, as it turned out, the two of them both performed well. Conspiracy theories abounded. Had Nick tipped off Ian in advance? Was that why he had decided not to play Gleneagles and plumped instead for the Deutsche Bank championship in Boston? Earlier in the week I had, perhaps rather injudiciously, remarked that Ian had ‘a hotline’ to Nick, but in truth I had no idea whether he did or not. Another of the rumours going the

rounds was that Nick had not picked me because he was still annoyed at what he regarded as my ‘disappointing’ behaviour at the Seve Trophy in 2007. Nick was captain of the Great Britain and Ireland team, as a dry run, I guess, for the Ryder Cup, and told the press that I had only attended two of the five team meetings and that he had to deal with my ‘emotions’. Nonsense. The Seve Trophy hullabaloo was blown out of all proportion. Nick spoke out of turn when he went public. If he had any concerns, he should have raised them with me. I have no doubt he regretted saying what he said, and that was it as far as I was concerned. He can hardly have been holding a grudge against me when you consider he put me out first in the singles and I won him a point against Robert Karlsson to set the team on its way to victory. Finally, I heard suggestions that Nick had kept me out of the team to make

sure he retained his Ryder Cup record of most points won - 25 to my 231/2. Nonsense again, surely. Nick cares about the Ryder Cup as much as I do. He wants Europe to win every time. I know that Mark James threw his good luck note in the bin in 1999 but I think James got that wrong. I think Faldo genuinely wanted us to win and, by the same token, I believe he opted for Poulter and Casey because he thought they would serve him best. I was devastated at being left out of that side of 2008. I lay on my bed at home trying to work out what had just happened but I failed. I couldn’t quite take in that my Ryder Cup playing days were at an end. Once I had come to terms with that, another disappointment took its place. Why did Nick not offer me a role as vice-captain? After his text, I had expected a follow-up message along the lines of, ‘Come on, Monty, get on board, help us win.’ I would have been in there like Captain Fantastic: Montgomerie led Europe to an emotionally-charged victory at Celtic Manor

a shot. But my phone never rang, and that was truly upsetting. I think I should have been there, and Darren as well, especially since Paul McGinley had withdrawn from the position of vicecaptain a year previously, leaving Nick with only Jose Maria Olazabal. Why did Nick not turn to Darren and me for assistance? On the playing side, absolutely fine, I could understand his thinking there, but his refusal to have us along in a non-playing capacity simply did not make sense. I can only put it down to the fact that it was his show, his team and he didn’t relish the idea of having personalities like Darren and me getting in the way. In this respect, I do believe Nick put himself ahead of the overall good of the team. How can I explain why my absence hurt so much? How do I put into words what the Ryder Cup means to me? The only way, I think, is to go back to 1991 and Kiawah Island. I was a rookie, mesmerised by everything around me, doing my best to take it all in, but not fully succeeding until I came back from four down with four to play against Mark Calcavecchia. That was the spark. As I explained earlier, winning that half-point had a profound effect. It was the moment I properly understood that this was all about the team, not the individual. That scrambled half was what allowed Bernhard Langer to have a putt to win for Europe. Okay, he missed, but that is irrelevant. As a team, we had created an opening. That spark turned into rather more in the locker room afterwards. I was sitting alongside the other rookies, Paul Broadhurst, Steve Richardson, David Feherty and David Gilford, studying their sad faces in general and the mood in particular. I looked from one end of the room to the other and that’s when I saw Seve and Langer hugging each other and crying openly. I had never witnessed anything like that before. Here were two giants of the game, people I looked up to and admired, with tears flowing down their cheeks. Because of the Ryder Cup. That is the moment Samuel Ryder’s brilliant concept seeped into my soul, never to leave. I wanted to be part of this forever. And in 2008 I wasn’t. That’s why it hurt as badly as it did.

© Colin Montgomerie, 2012 and extracted from MONTY by Colin Montgomerie, published by Orion priced £20.


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July 2012 / Issue 212

Is this mine? Els looked surprised to be holding his second Claret Jug

The sun finally came out for the weekend’s play

ERNIE RIDES AGAIN The fat lady, it turned out, wasn’t even in Lytham & St Anne Golf Club’s famous overflow car park when Adam Scott holed out for what to all the world looked like a decisive birdie on the 14th hole during the final round of the 141st Open Championship. Sir Nick Faldo, called in for lastminute TV commentating duties for the BBC, was the first to pour cold water on the fireworks on Scott potentional winner’s parade, coming out with a typically pithy ‘This ain’t anywhere near over’. And so it proved. Faldo certainly knows a thing or two about winning Majors, and he called it bang on when he said that the fat lady wasn’t close to being on the premises. We’d been told all week that Lytham’s final four holes were harder to par than it is for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle (which, on the face of it, seems quite hard), and yet few of us were prepared to believe that Scott, who had played as if on auto-pilot for the previous 68 holes, would bogey four on the bounce to pass the Claret Jug into Ernie Els’s grateful, if ever so slightly surprised, hands.

‘Big Easy’ bags second Claret Jug after Scott falters down the stretch. Paul Lawrie won from 10 back at Carnoustie in 1999, so it perhaps should have been no surprise that it was going to take a cool, experienced head and broad, if slightly sloping shoulders, to achieve a similar result at a similarly brutal examination as was set by Lytham. The languid Ernie – who had considerable course form at Lytham – third in 2001, and second in 1996 – is blessed with precisely those characteristics, as well as they type of ‘been there, got the T-shirt’ mentality that only comes when you reach the ripe old age of 42 and already have three Major titles to your name. With the rain-soaked fairways offering little in the way of run, and lots in the way of bunkers, plotting a way around this course was like running blind between the opposing trenches in World War One. There were bogey-filled bombs exploding all over the course on a final day of carnage – little of which had been predicted following three days of untypically

benign links conditions. All it took was the gentlest of breezes, and the tension that only the back nine of a major championship can always be relied on to provide – to result in a form of mass sporting suicide that must have had Jean Van de Velde chuckling from the comfort of his chaise longue. The Lemmings of Lytham were thus born. The lemmings in question that occupied that top four places on the leaderboard after 54 holes – Scott, McDowell, Woods and Snedeker – shot final rounds 75, 75, 73 and 74 respectively, while Els, who began the final day six shots adrift, clinched his fourth major title with a tidy two-under par 68, that included a stunning back nine of just 32 blows. But the tournament was still Scott’s to lose, rather than Els’s to win, and only the most pessimistic of viewers, or those clutching betting slips with Els’s name on, could have wished a collapse of this nature on the 32-year-old Australian.

Needing to hole an eight-footer on the last to take the tournament into extra holes, after gut-wrenching bogeys on 15, 16 and 17, Scott did well to pull pack the head of his super-sized putter. The ensuing effort never looked like dropping the second it left the face, and the expression-less reaction on Scott’s face, and the resulting ‘ooooohs’ from the packed grandstands, said it all. His race was run. Scott’s collapse brought back memories of his compatriot Greg Norman’s self-destruction at the Masters in 1996, when Faldo overhauled a six-stroke deficit to snatch victory at Augusta in the last round. “I’m very disappointed, but I played so beautifully for most of the week I really shouldn’t let this bring me down,” said Scott, forcing himself to look on the bright side of life. “I know I’ve let a really great chance slip through my fingers today, but somehow I’ll look back and take the positives from it.” Els, for his part, was stunned at the


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Sand Man: Lee Westwood’s Major hopes came unstuck in Lytham’s bunkers

The Big Miss: Scott unravelled over Lytham’s final holes

result, although he did his best to act as if it had been his master plan from the very outset. “I am just numb at the moment,” said the South African, who was the only player in the field not to shoot a round over par all week. “I was hoping at best for a play-off. I feel for Adam, as he is a great friend of mine. We both wanted to win so badly, but I really

Rough going: Graeme McDowell struggled to mount a challenge

feel for him. But that is the nature of the beast – that is why we are out here.” Just about written off as a Major contender, despite finishing ninth in the US Open, Els was angered at not having been included in the Masters field in April, and fought back as only he knows how. In securing his first Major triumph in 10 years, just as the critics

Tiger Woods misfired on the final day

were circling to write his career epitaph, Els may yet manage a second wind, but it just as may being a final signature flourish from of the game’s true greats. “A lot of people never thought I would win again, but I started believing this year,” said Els. “I have received a lot of help from my family, and the professionals around me, and can’t thank them enough for their support.” And what of the supporting cast? Graeme McDowell, out in the final group for the second consecutive Major, flattered to deceive, hitting some wayward shots – including a topped fairway wood into the bushes – en route to a unimpressive 75. Tiger Woods threatened at times, but a triple-bogey via a greenside bunker at the par-four sixth, and three straight bogeys from the 13th sank his chances of a 15th major and first since the 2008 US Open. The 36-year-old carded a three-over 73 to end tied third at three under alongside playing partner and fellow American Brandt Snedeker, whose 10-under par total for the first two rounds always looked like being a false lead. Luke Donald once again snuck into the upper echelons of the leaderboard with a final round 69 to tie foe fifth, but unlike poor Adam Scott, he had nothing to lose when playing from 10 shots back, except another shot at greatness.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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superb prize outright. This is exactly what happened to Barry Scott, who was the only one to predict Bubba Watson’s thrilling US Masters

victory, while Swingers member Philip Kilgour was one of only four people to predict Webb Simpson’s US Open triumph, and his name came out of the hat. The Open Championship was taking place as Golf News went to press, but there is still plenty of time for members to get their predictions in for the final major of the year – the US PGA Championship. Currently, as you might expect, Tiger Woods is the leading choice among the selections, although a player with longer odds might be in with a better chance

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Prior swaps bails for balls at Mannings Sussex and England cricketer Matt Prior enjoyed a rare opportunity to take off his wicket-keeping gloves and don a single golf glove, when he hosted a charity golf day at Mannings Heath Golf Club on June 26. The 30-year-old, who is currently in the middle of his benefit year, following 11 years of service to Sussex County Cricket Club, organised the golf day at the Horsham-based club to help raise funds for his two chosen charities, Chestnut Tree House and the Professional Cricket Association Benevolent Fund. Prior was joined by eight first team players, including Chris Nash, Ed Joyce, Joe Gatting and Murray Goodwin, in a day which saw 26 teams compete over Mannings Heath’s 6,683-yard Waterfall Course. Prior, who plays off seven, was in hot form with his clubs too, helping his team to take second place in the best three-from-four Stableford event. The winning team was ‘Fore Lost Balls’, which comprised (left to right in photo flanking Mat Prior) Andy Cuthill (who won event overall with 46 points playing off 16), Ian Maxwell, team captain Steve Morley and Daryl Gayler. The day finished with a gala three-course dinner and an auction of some of Prior’s sporting memorabilia, including a signed pair of his keepers’ gloves, while a pair of framed bats signed by the current England team, proved popular prizes in the post-dinner raffle. See page 47 for Me & My Travels with Matt Prior.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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Storybehindthepic Tony Jacklin and Jack Nicklaus The Ryder Cup, Royal Birkdale, September 20, 1969

A

s far as handshakes at the end of golf matches go, there is perhaps none more memorable, or one that epitomises all that is fine and upstanding about the great game we all love, than this heartfelt locking of arms at Royal Birkdale in the white heat of competition at the 1969 Ryder Cup. The Concession – as this moment was later to be called and even later to be immortalised in the form of a golf club in Florida of the same name – remains possibly the finest example of sportsmanship to this day. It took place during the closing stages of the matches, when the destiny of Samuel Ryder’s famous trophy depended on the outcome of the singles match between Jacklin and Nicklaus. Jacklin had won the Open Championship just three

months earlier and was the GB&I’s team’s talisman, while the 29-year-old Nicklaus, who already had seven majors to his name, was anchoring the singles leg for the Americans. The matches had been dramatically close for the first two days. On the final day,

when 16 singles matches were played, GB&I charged into the lead, winning five of the eight morning matches to take a 13-11 lead. But the afternoon saw a now familiar US fight back, with the visitors winning four of the first six games to level the scores.

Brian Huggett managed to halve his match against Billy Caspar in the seventh rubber, leaving the outcome of the match resting on the shoulders of Nicklaus and Jacklin. As they drove down the 18th fairway, all-square, Nicklaus asked the Open champion if he

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was nervous. “Bloody petrified,” Jacklin returned. They laughed. They both hit good second shots onto the green. Jacklin settled about 30 feet from the hole. Nicklaus was conspicuously nearer. To a hushed gallery, Jacklin putted first and left the ball some two feet short, prompting huge groans from the galleries. Nicklaus, putting for the trophy, sent his ball five feet past the hole, not losing his turn. Having missed four putts of similar distance in the morning, he could have been forgiven for missing a fifth under such stressful circumstance, but the Golden Bear calmy holed the comeback putt and picked the ball out of the hole. And, while he was bending down, he also picked up Jacklin’s marker, conceding the putt, and putting his arms around his opponent in a sporting embrace like no other. It left the matches tied on 16 points apiece, and

although the level scores ensured that America retained the Ryder Cup, that wasn’t the point. No one person deserved to lose that match, and Nicklaus ensured that event never happened. It’s hard to imagine an occasion where the opportunity to show such sportsmanship would occur in any other sport, other than perhaps to bowl a deliberate wide in order to half the scores in the deciding test of an Ashes series. And that ‘The Concession’ should have involved two of the game’s fiercest competitors is even more poignant, and reminds us that even in match play, golf remains a game against the course, and not against your opponent. Let’s hope we see similar behaviour on the greens at Medinah Country Club in September, when the 2012 Ryder Cup gets under way, and return golf to its rightful place as the sport of gentlemen and gentlewomen.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

News in Brief HAREWOOD ON TOP AT HEYTHROP Harewood Downs won both the Scratch and Handicap Championships at Heythrop Park on June 29. The team of George Bell and Paul Heselden, playing off a combined handicap of two, shot rounds of 75 and 73 to finish five shots clear of Craig Buttivant and Jake Haines (Gerrrads Cross) in the Scratch Championship and four clear of Simon Hopkins and John Wilks (Burford) in the Handicap Championship.

LETCHWORTH CHAMPIONS Letchworth Golf Club have qualified for National Club Championships at Stoneham in September, after winning the Hertfordshire finals held at East Herts on June 24. Dave Tandy, Ben Harman, and Carl Best combined to score 219 points to win the 18-hole event by 10 shots, taking the county title for the first time since 1959.

Shergo strikes again Surrey youngster Shergo Kurdi marked himself as a rare talent again last month, after bagging not one, but two holes-in-one, and breaking the junior course record at a local club. The ultra-gifted eight-year old from Chertsey aced the 9th at Foxhills Golf Club in a friendly game, and then aced the fourth hole at Longniddry Golf Club in Scotland during the finals of the 2012 US Kids European Championships. Shergo finished 17th in his age category in the tournament, which attracted children from all over the world, finishing on nine over par for 27 holes. His second round one-under par 35 was the second best round of the entire event. Earlier this month, Shergo broke the junior course record at Crowlands Golf Centre in Essex, shooting a score of three-under par gross. Shergo is already building an impressive trophy cabinet, after a succession of wins in the Trailblazers Junior League, a series of tournaments held around the south east for

children aged between five and 12. He won four times last season, and currently lies second in the 8-10 year-old Order of Merit table behind Sussex’s Alfie Hutton, after winning events at Blacknest and Wildwood in recent weeks. Last month saw Shergo have a lesson with one of the world’s best coaches, Pete Cowen, during the GolfLive event at the London Club, while he also stole the show at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he hit balls on the range in front of tour stars Justin Rose and Matteo Manassero. Shergo’s father, Antonio, a keen amateur player who has been overseeing his son’s golfing development, says that his son was trying to putt before he could walk, and started hitting clubs when he was 18 months old. “We realised he had a special talent when he had just turned six, and we took him to join a group lesson at our local range,” said Antonio. “The golf coach there refused to teach him, because he was worried about interfering with the talent he had.”

Robert Busher (right) receives his Faldo Series trophy from David Thompson, Club Captain of Old Fold Manor

Busher ends wait for Faldo glory Robert Busher of Salisbury & South Wilts was victorious in the Faldo Series UK Championship at Old Fold Manor Golf Club in Barnet. The 20-year-old was competing in his sixth Series event in as many years, and was delighted to make his first final after two level par rounds of 71. “I can’t wait to meet Sir Nick and compete at the Grand Final,” said Busher who will compete in the World Amateur Golf Ranking event at Lough Erne Resort on September 1113. “It’s extra special because I’ve been playing on the Series for so long.” Jack Singh-Brar (Boys’ U16) from Bramshaw and Nick Ward (Boys’ U18) of Brocket Hall also booked their places in the Faldo Series Grand Final, to be hosted by six-time Major Champion Nick Faldo at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Nice drive, Damian! Hole-in-one winner Damian Pitts collects his new Volvo S60 from event organisers Business Rescue Centre managing director Kevin Aston

A keen amateur bagged a new Volvo S60 at a corporate golf day in Watford last month, when he hit a hole-in-one. Damian Pitts bagged the £30,000 car when he aced the 166-yard 15th hole at Chartridge Park Golf Club during the Business Rescue Centre’s annual corporate golf day. Damian, a litigation manager with

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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After playing for over 25 years with just one victory, Roger Chapman has won backto-back Senior Major Championships to put his name firmly in the record books Show me the money: Roger Chapman, and his wife Cathy, can look forward to a comfortable life after he won the US Senior PGA and the US Senior Open in consecutive months

Tears streamed down the cheeks of Roger Chapman as he embraced wife Cathy beside the 18th green at Indianwood, as he struggled to comprehend the magnitude of his triumph at the US Senior Open. In rallying from four strokes behind to win by two shots in Michigan, the former European Tour journeyman – already the Senior PGA champion – can now be mentioned in the same breath as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Hale Irwin, as one of only four men to have claimed both these senior major championships in the same season. “It’s a true honour,” said the 53 year-old from Berkshire, who plied the European circuit for 28 years, recording just one win. But Chapman has enjoyed a spectacular late blossoming this year, first capturing

Chapman doubles Major tally the Senior PGA crown at Benton Harbour, before shooting a finalround 66 to wrestle the US Senior title from the celebrated trio of Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin. The experienced German had led the field by four shots going into the final round, but crumbled with a closing 72 to open the door to his rivals – more specifically, Chapman. The wind picked up considerably

for the final day’s play, with gusts up to 20 mph make it hard to keep tee shots on the unforgiving and tight fairways, and to accurately approach hard, undulating greens. Chapman answered the challenge for much of the day with two birdies on the front nine and four through 14 holes. He miss-hit a shot out of the bunker on the 16th, which lead to a bogey that he quickly made amends for on the

next hole. Chapman stepped to the potentially pivotal 195-yard, par-3 17th and calmly hit a 5-iron that was close enough for a tap-in birdie that restored a two-shot lead. “I have to say that was my best shot ever played,” he said. Chapman chose to use his driver at the 462-yard, par-4 18th, and got the slice of luck that all winners need when his tee shot was stopped by spectators standing along the ropes on the left side of the fairway. That gave him with a decent lie in the rough that he took advantage of with an approach that set him up for a two-putt par that sealed the victory, and proved what he did in May at Harbor Shores was not a fluke. “I wanted to prove to myself, and to other people, that Benton Harbor wasn’t a one-off event,” he said. “That was in the back of my mind.” It was left to Pavin, who finished

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tied for second, to express the significance of the breakthrough by the man from Ascot. “I guess, when you read about Roger, you always hear ‘journeyman’ or something like that,” said Pavin. “But he has always been a very solid player. Sometimes, people bloom a little later.” For a player with just a single European Tour victory to his name, which came in Brazil in 2000, Chapman displayed extraordinary nerve en route to his latest win. Having won a shade over a £111,000 for his title in Rio de Janeiro, he has now claimed five times that – £560,000 – for his performances over the past three months. And, as Golf News went to press, he was on the verge on taking part in the Senior Open Championship at Turnberry, where he was targeting an unprecedented third major in succession. “It has been a huge and fast rise,” Chapman admitted. “I was a journeyman pro, with one victory in 25 years. I can’t put my finger on why I won at Benton Harbour, and why I won at Indianwood – I’m just more confident in my swing. My coach, Glen Christie, says, ‘You have just got to hit the ball as late as possible’, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.” Chapman, who was born Kenya, started his golfing career as a bright prospect, winning the English Amateur in 1979 and representing Great Britain & Ireland in the 1981 Walker Cup, when he beat Hal Sutton twice in one day. He turned professional later that year and won a European Tour card on his first visit to the Qualifying School. He finished in the top 100 on the European Order of Merit 19 years out of 21 from 1982 to 2002, with a best ranking of 17th in 1988. After six second place finishes on the tour, he finally won the 2000 Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open on his 472nd tour start. He also won the 1988 Zimbabwe Open on the Sunshine Tour, and the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Morocco in 2000. He also represented England in the 2000 Alfred Dunhill Cup, alongside Jamie Spence and Brian Davis. It was a selection that led one leading newspaper at the time to pronounce: ‘Is this the worst England team ever?’ Thankfully all three players have gone on to considerable individual success, no more so than Roger M Chapman.


32 /

July 2012 / Issue 212

Alistair Tait catches up with Oxfordshireborn Tour pro Gary Boyd, as he bids to bag his first win on the European Tour

Boyd up for the future Gary Boyd is bound to have a successful career if he picks up just a fraction of Ian Poulter’s confidence. Most young Englishman would love to have Poulter as a mentor. Boyd has a direct line to the Poulter psyche, as he not only counts the current world No.28 as mentor, but also as close personal friend. “I’m lucky to be able to spend winters practising with Ian, and time on tour with him,” says the Banbury-born Boyd, who now lives in Northamptonshire. “I pick his brain every chance I get. I see what he’s working on and how he goes about his business. He’s been in the top 30 in the world for five or six years, so he knows what it takes. He’s won 11 times, which is a massive achievement.” Like Poulter, Boyd is now attached to Woburn Golf Club. He learned to play his golf at Cherwell Edge Golf Club, near his family home in Banbury. Now 25, he came through the England system, and made it into the 2007 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup squad, although he didn’t make the final 10-man team. He turned

“Once I started making cuts, I grew in confidence and that’s a huge thing out here. You can’t play without confidence” professional with a plus 4 handicap. His upbringing couldn’t be more different to his mentor’s. Poulter never played elite amateur golf. He was a four handicapper when he turned professional, and spent his early days as an assistant pro. Boyd’s relationship with Poulter came about because he was friends with James Dunkley, son of Poulter’s manager, Ian Dunkley. When Boyd turned pro, he asked Paul Dunkley to manage him. Poulter came

as part of the package, and it’s a very competitive package. “Ian has to win. It’s crazy,” jokes Boyd. “If you play him at anything he wants to beat you, whether it’s cards or tossing a coin. If we play tennis or go in the gym, he wants to win or do better than you, and that drives me on as well. When you are around a guy like that who is so confident, then it has to rub off. He’s just tried to drum into me the confidence you need out on Tour, and what you have to do to be successful.” Boyd might not share Poulter’s assistant pro background, but they’ve taken the same route to the European Tour. Boyd turned professional after not making that Walker Cup team. He missed his card at the 2007 and 2008 European Tour Qualifying Schools, and spent two years on the Challenge Tour. He gained his European Tour card by finishing seventh on the 2009 Challenge Tour, thanks to victory in the Kenya Open. Poulter had three failed Q School attempts, but paved the way to the elite tour with victory in the Challenge Tour’s 1999 Open de Cote d’Ivoire. “Playing Challenge Tour for two years was a massive thing for me,” Boyd says. “I probably should have got my card the first year, but didn’t quite get it done. I came out the blocks really quickly the following year, won in Kenya, and I was set up. It was a great grounding for me, because it taught me the ways of pro golf. I got used to the life of a tour pro

Boyd in action at last month’s Irish Open, where he finished 33rd

quite quickly, got used to all the ups and downs. I think the best thing was that it got me used to the travelling. That’s maybe the hardest thing about Tour life. If you look at all the guys who are doing well out here, they’ve come through the Challenge Tour. James Morrison, Dave Horsey and myself, for example, we’ve pushed on, and I think it’s from the experience of playing the Challenge Tour. I learned how to schedule during those two years, and I’ve carried it over to the main tour. Ian’s been great with me on that, too. He’s big on getting lots of rest – to build downtime into your schedule.” Boyd might have been overshadowed somewhat in the amateur game, but it didn’t take him long to find his feet among Europe’s elite. He finished 50th on the money list in his rookie year of 2010, and had six top 10 finishes. He was third in the Castello Masters, and lost the Czech Open in a play-off to Peter Hanson. He

also had a second place finish last year, finishing runner-up in the Italian Open by a shot to Robert Rock. However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing. “I struggled early in my first year on the main tour. I missed seven cuts by a shot. That was frustrating, but I knew my game was there. Then I really pushed on, and had a great finish to the year. I think it was a confidence thing. Once I started making cuts, I grew in confidence and that’s a huge thing out here. You can’t play without confidence. So the Czech Open was huge for me. It gave me belief.” Boyd hasn’t had a great start to the 2012 campaign. He’s made just five cuts out of 11. However, he’s been around long enough to know he’s not involved in a sprint, but a marathon. “I’m never normally a quick starter. I seem to take a while to get going for some reason,” he admits. “So while it might bother some guys, it never really concerns me. I’m lucky because my exemption category means I get to play a pretty full schedule, so there is less pressure to do well every time I tee it up. There’s lots of time in the season, and enough big money events to catch up.” Boyd has some catching up to do if he wants to emulate Poulter. He’s 11 Tour wins in arrears, and needs a victory soon to inject a bit of competition into their race. “I’d like to have won by now,” says Boyd, who is currently ranked 129th in the Race to Dubai. “I’ve lost in a play-off and finished second. So it’s all in the memory bank, and stored for future use.” More importantly, it is also in Poulter’s memory bank. He’ll make sure Boyd takes only the positives out of his twoand-a-bit years among Europe’s elite. “Gary is a really good ball striker with the perfect attitude,” Poulter says. “He’s going to be a multiple winner. He never gets too down on himself, and has the ability to put bad shots behind him and move on. That’s massive out here.”

 Maybe not as massive as having England’s most confident golfer giving you a spot of well-aimed encouragement.


July 2012 / Issue 212

/ 33 Complimentary Copy

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Gallacher highlights the importance of insurance The UK’s largest specialist golf insurer, Golf Care, has introduced an innovative TV campaign currently running on the Sky Sports network, fronted by Golf Care Ambassador and threetime Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher. The advert will raise awareness of the risks associated with the sport, as well as the ease and affordability of being suitably insured against almost every eventuality. “This is an exciting time for Golf Care. Thankfully more golfers are starting to realise the importance of being insured. However the vast majority still mistakenly believe that they’re covered by their household insurance,” noted John Woosey, managing director of Golf Care. “As a former European Tour winner and Ryder Cup captain, Bernard is the ideal spokesperson for Golf Care, having been involved in the game for over 40 years. We’re delighted that he continues to be involved in promoting Golf Care’s message, which is clearly resonating with the golfing public.” Golf Care’s comprehensive policies can be purchased online from £22.99, ensuring that all golfers can be instantly covered before their

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Spoils shared at The Oxfordshire Andrew Butterfield (Sundridge Park) and Andrew Urquhart (Chart Hills) both shot rounds of 69 to share victory in the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer Charity Pro-Am held at The Oxfordshire. The two victors were the only ones to break par on yet another day when the weather made things a lot more challenging around the very exposed Oxfordshire course. Finishing three shots in front of their nearest rivals, Tom Whitehouse and David Mills (Pease Pottage), Butterfield’s and Urquhart’s hard-fought sub-par rounds earned the two winners well-deserved cheques for £550. Both players dropped shots at the same holes, the eighth and ninth, but each then went on to make five birdies elsewhere. Urquhart’s five birdies included an impressive trio on the par threes, the second measuring 192 yards, the 210-yard fifth, and the 232-yard 15th. The tournament was hosted by PGA member Benn Barham, who is one of the many people who have benefited directly from the charity’s work to overcome kidney cancer.

Golf club owner completes 800-mile marathon ride Although walking a little gingerly, Richard Haygarth, the owner of the Maple Leaf Golf group, still had a big smile on his face, after completing a marathon 800-mile, 10-day charity bike ride. The 48-year-old, whose company owns and runs a number of golf clubs in the South East, including Hill Barn in Worthing, and Horton Park in Epsom, cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats last

month in order to raise £5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Research UK, the country’s leading dementia research charity. He started the feat of endurance with two friends, Andrew Paynter and Richard Couzens, on June 23 at Land’s End, and finished at John O’Groats on July 2. Speaking about the motivation for his challenge, Richard said: “I decided to take up the challenge after

being badgered by one of my fellow cyclists, Andrew. My mum suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years before her death in 2010, and I saw first-hand what a dreadful disease it is. The money raised will be put to excellent use to help find a cure.” The hardy trio endured everything the great British weather could throw at them during the course of their epic journey north, including some severe storms. Richard’s training included completing the London to Brighton ride, where he got the whole family involved, finishing the event with his wife, Sally, and 14-year old-son Jack, on Father’s Day, and he also completed a 170-mile coast-to-coast ride in two days. Donations can still be made at www.justgiving. co.uk/Richard-Haygarth.

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July 2012 / Issue 212

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EwenMurray Portrush lays down Open invitation

Portrush proved a popular venue with the players and fans, but the R&A remains cool on its prospects for hosting the Open Championship

T

he past month has been a most enjoyable one for me, with three European Tour events held within the British Isles. Much has been said about the Irish Open at Royal Portrush, one of the jewels in our golfing crown. For the first time in the history of the European Tour, the event was a sell out. Over 100,000 fans flocked to the North Eastern corner of Northern Ireland and, despite the weather, the tournament was a resounding success. On the Pro-Am day, I walked round with tournament host Darren Clarke, whose partners were his dad, his son Tyrone, and long-time friend and lead singer of Westlife, Shane Fillan. They were cheered onto every green,

as were Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in the groups behind. The three major champions, who have put their country at the forefront of the game, were treated as they deserve to be. It was heart-warming stuff. All too often, we put our stars on a pedestal, only to knock them down. That doesn’t happen in Ireland. Much of the focus was on whether Portrush could return to the Open Championship rota after a gap of over 60 years. Many questions were asked. Could they cope with the crowds? Was the course good enough? Was the infrastructure, that is now paramount at the Open, strong enough? And what about the roads in and out, could they deal with the traffic flow? I can tell you that they passed every examination with

Time to create the ‘Great British Swing’ The call of home is always strong and when it’s time to hang up the microphone, maybe I will head North to the promised land. Aberdeen Asset Management, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, put on a grand national championship at Castle Stuart. In AAM chief executive, Martin Gilbert, the sport has a gem. Martin has helped many young golfers develop into the superb players they are today. He has sponsored and encouraged them and the likes of Paul Lawrie, Martin Laird, and amateurs Brian Souter and Jack McDonald have prospered. Jack made the semi-finals of the British Amateur, while Brian won the South African Amateur in Cape Town, keeping it in Scottish hands following Michael Stewart’s win last year. We are going through a halcyon period in English golf, with two in the world’s top three, yet there is no English Open on the European schedule. Surely what Martin and Alex Salmon, Scotland’s first minister, have achieved at Castle Stuart can be replicated in England. There was a time when the only Englishman in the world’s top 100 was Mark James. Today there are four in the top 30. We have great courses, and with the success of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, we have the interest and demand for top quality golf. Come on, let the powers that be get together and make this happen. We have the Wales Open, the Irish, and the Scottish. Add to that the English, with the Open sandwiched in the middle, and the ‘Great British Swing’ should form a significant part of the golfing calendar.

flying colours. Most majors are now operating a park-and-ride system, which works well. The course is a Harry Colt masterpiece, with the finest collection of greens I have seen anywhere in the world. But what hit home more than anything else was the Irish fans. I played in 15 Irish Opens, and I had forgotten what an honour it was to play in front of them. For nearly four days, there was not one ‘get in the hole’ or ‘you’re the man’, although some idiot spoilt that at the 72nd hole, but he won’t be doing it again. The crowd gave him what for, and he sheepishly turned and made for the exit. They are the best spectators in the world, and if anything is fair in life, they should look forward to an Open in the near future.

Sky Sport’s voice of golf speaks out on issues of the month

Els enjoys sweetest victory of them all Like many of you, no doubt, I was sat in my favourite armchair in front of the television at 9am on July 19th, waiting for round one of the Open to begin. There’s something magical about the R&A’s annual major. I’m not sure whether it’s the fact we move around a rota of courses, each one most of us are familiar with. It maybe that it’s the unpredictability of links golf, or the best players in the world challenged by an honest test, presented by nature. I think the reason is that the Open has a history no other event can match. Because of the wet late spring and summer, Royal Lytham was so different this year. Target golf, replacing the normal fast running fairways and dusty sand – yet it took nothing away from the glorious spectacle. At the start of the week, it did occur to me that a great number of modern players have forgotten, or perhaps have never known, what golf was meant to be like. Lytham was nothing but a true and honest test of all of the skills required to be the champion golfer, and produced a marvelous championship. The final day was extraordinary. The chasing pack were quickly over par, and Adam Scott, holding a four-shot lead, reacted by sensibly playing for the middle of the greens. Tiger Woods’s plan of hitting irons off the tee worked beautifully at Hoylake six years ago, but that course was the opposite of Lytham. Then, after a dry summer, 60 to 70 yards of run made up the distance. Here, however, 10 yards of roll meant that Woods was hitting long irons into fairly inaccessible pins. That finally caught up with him at the sixth on Sunday. This was Adam Scott’s real chance to graduate into golf’s top drawer. He posseses the swing Tiger had in 2000, and he has trusted it, but winning is difficult, even for the best exponents of the game. Ernie Els’s win from way back in the pack, his second Open title ten years, will be the sweetest. Out of the world’s top 50, and missing the Masters will have hurt his pride, but like Darren Clarke a year ago, Ernie struck a blow for the over-40s and his return from some dark days is a joyous one. The real winners on the Fylde Coast were Ernie and Lytham, and the sport we all adore. The Open is still the greatest show in golf. It always has been, and probably always will.

You miss, I win: Els’s final-hole birdie proved a masterstroke

No beating a day at the ‘Dale! Sunningdale’s majestic 10th hole

I’m often asked what are my favourite courses. Because of my allegiance to the promised land north of Hadrian’s Wall, I often say Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch and one I really adore playing, Skibo Castle. Last week, I joined Robert Lee, Simon Holmes, and England cricketer, Matt Prior for a round at Sunningdale New. From the first day I played at Sunningdale, nearly 40 years ago, I’ve had a deep affection for two of the finest courses in England.

Greeted by the club’s revered professional, Keith Maxwell, with whom we exchanged our latest fishing stories, we took to the first tee. Having not played for a month, I was relieved to bash one down the first fairway, but my joy was short lived, as Matt’s drive was still rising as it passed mine and finished 70 yards further up the fairway! He plays off seven, but it won’t be long before he is down to two or three. He is the typical modern fit

sportsman, competitive, with a natural in-built desire to perform at his best. So many aspects are important to enjoy a day’s golf, the company you’re in being one of them. Sunningdale takes care of the rest. The immaculate condition it enjoys all year round; greenkeeping standards that are not surpassed anywhere; and the joy of having completed the 10th on either course – the sausage sandwich hut. Oh, the luxury! Fuel for the last eight holes, with the journey ending by the veranda of the sumptuous clubhouse, close to that famous oak tree. With Matt partnering Simon, our match finished all square, so, of course, a re-match needs to be arranged. We will do that, and wherever it may be, we will enjoy it. As I drove along the A30 heading west, I was thinking that a day at the ‘Dale is always one that leaves fond memories, no matter how well or badly you’ve played.


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A DV E R T I S I N G

F E AT U R E

July 2012 / Issue 212

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NEVER UP, NEVER IN! It’s an unarguable fact that the putter is the most used club in any round of golf, so this should be a club you give some serious thought to, rather than haphazardly throwing any old – or new – piece of kit into the bag. I give many more putting lessons to pros and good amateur golfers than I do to high handicappers. This is for the simple reason that better players are far more aware that low scoring comes from a sharp short game, not long drives. As the old saying goes, ‘drive for show, putt for dough’. The ability to affect your score without making any swing changes can only be a good thing. So next time you think about booking a lesson, or about buying a new driver, ask yourself this question: ‘How many putts do I take per round on average?’ If your answer is over 30, then a putting lesson, and potentially a new putter, is a better way to reduce your scores. Putter brand Never Compromise recently acknowledged this notion with the release of its new Sub30 range. With five different models in the line, golfers of all skill levels are sure to find one that suits their putting stroke, and helps them to start rolling in putts on a consistent basis. Each model has a dual-material face insert of copper-infused aluminum and polymer for a soft, responsive feel. The insert height is one of the tallest of any putter on the market. This helps to minimise distance loss and maximise accuracy on high off-centre hits. Each putter’s insert has also been strategically designed to cover as much of the impact area as possible. The Type 10 and Type 20 are classic blade models, while the Type 30 and Type 40 are mid-mallet designs that are so popular among tour players. The Type 50 is a two-piece oversized mallet that can also be ordered as a belly putter, with a heavier, 400g head. The heavier head weights on the belly putter help to optimise swing weight and feel throughout the stroke. Belly putters can also be helpful to golfers who struggle with consistency on the greens, especially from inside 10-feet.

Four Steps to B 1

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Ben Clayton is Cleveland/Srixon Golf’s Short Game Ambassador. Cleveland Golf short game app via the Apple store, Blackberry A about the Never Compromise range of putters, please visit www 10/02/2012 09:51


July 2012 / Issue 212

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e shots off their vesting a bit of ent, says PGA

CLASSIC STYLING TAKES YOU BACK ULTRALITE TECH N OLOGY M OVES YOU FORWARD.

Better Putting 2

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Does the putter fit you for length? I want the putter to fit my height, so I have my eyes level with the neck of the putter and my arms hanging comfortably at address.

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Does the putter fit your stroke? If you like to open and close the face, then a putter that has some toe hang will suit you. If you try and keep the putter square throughout your stroke, then a face-balanced putter will suit your game more.

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Once you have a putter that suits you, then start working on some drills to improve your stroke. For practising my short putting from six feet, I like to lay down two clubs parallel to the hole to help the aim of my body and the putter. I then hit 10 consecutive putts, focusing on my alignment, and concentrating on putting a smooth stroke on the ball.

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Players who putt well keep very still, and produce very little body movement in the stroke. This encourages the club to swing on its true pendulum action. When we move our head to look at where the ball has gone, the putter is forced off path, as usually our whole body moves through impact with the ball. Remember that looking up early will not make the ball change direction and go in the hole. Next time you play, for close range putts of six feet or less, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look up until the ball has gone in. For longer putts, practise not looking up until the ball has travelled at least six feet from where it started. If you compare the putting stroke to the pendulum in a grandfather clock, it is only the pendulum (in our case the putter) of a grandfather clock that is moving, not the whole case (our body).

. For more instructional tips from Ben, please download the App World and Google Play. If you would like to learn more w.nevercompromise.com.

FIND OUT HOW IT FEELS FOR G-MAC & KEEGAN WWW.CLEVELANDGOLF.COM


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July 2012 / Issue 212

QUAD-Fit Stockists QUAD-Fit Stockists

OUTLET OUTLETSTORE STORE

Poult Wood Golf Centre Poult Wood Golf Centre Tonbridge, Kent Tonbridge, Kent 01732 364 039 01732 364 039

GolfBuddy Platinum GPS RRP: £277 Contact: www.gpsgolfbuddy.eu

Druh Belts RRP: £88 Contact: www.druhbeltsandbuckles.com We may have come second last in the Eurovision Song Contest, and failed to get past the quarters in Euro 2012, while the Diamond Jubilee is but a distant memory of damp bunting and soggy cup cakes, but there’s still time to fly the flag for the motherland with the Olympics just days away. Druh Belts has jumped on the Team GB bandwagon by launching a range of belts bearing national flag buckles to show that you’re not just using them to support your trousers. Although the Union Jack flag is obviously expected to be the top seller on these shores, you can also show your allegiance to other flags, from Australia to South Africa, and a host of nations in between.

Cobra Golf Orange Amp driver

GolfBuddy has relaunched its flagship GPS Platinum model for 2012 – making it brighter, faster and more powerful.
 Already boasting 40,000 free course map memory and premium 50 channel satellite reception, GolfBuddy has ramped up the handset’s specifications, including boosting screen resolution to make the colour course map images even brighter and clearer. Users will also appreciate much faster screen response times, especially when changing exact pin placements via the Touch ‘N’ Move flag functionality, and locating precise distances to hazards. A new long-life lithium battery delivers 15 hours of life – enough for three rounds – while the entire waterproof outer casing has been upgraded to make it even more resilient.

Bushnell Tour Z6 RRP: £349 Contact: www.bushnellgolf.eu Bushnell’s latest rangefinder packs a big punch for such a compact piece of kit, offering pinpoint distances from five to 1,300 yards, including up to 450 yards for flags in direct line of sight. With six-times magification, the 225g Z6 features vivid display technology, which improves contrast, clarity and light transmission for crystal clear images, while the unit is capable of picking out and measuring targets at much faster speeds than previously possible – making dialing in your distances easier and quicker than ever.

RRP: £499 Contact: www.cobragolf.co.uk Following hot on the heels of Bubba Watson’s all-pink Ping driver, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before Cobra brought out an eye-popping all-over orange version of its AMP driver, in homage to its headline tour ambassador, Rickie Fowler. There are only a limited number of these tango-ed versions of the popular AMP driver going on sale in August in the United States, so you’ll need to get your order in early via a friend in the US to secure one. You’ll also need to dig out some orange balls – we believe Srixon has some in its AD333 range – and you’re good to go. It’s available in 9.5° and 10.5° in stiff and regular flexes.

Cleveland Golf 588 CB irons RRP: £599 (5-PW) Contact: www.clevelandgolf.com Aimed at skilled irons players looking for a little more forgiveness in their long irons, Cleveland’s latest generation of 588 irons are precision forged from high-grade carbon steel for a soft, yet solid feel. The compact head shape, which comes with a high gloss finish, includes a progressive cavity back, as well as a thicker topline and longer blade length than the company’s 588 muscleback irons. These elements combine to inspire more confidence and generate better distance on off-centre hits, although bad shots will still suffer on these players’ clubs.

PowaKaddy Freeway Digital RRP: From £349.99 Contact: www.powakaddy.com PowaKaddy has brought its Freeway franchise rolling into the new season with a sporty, stylish and digital makeover. Introducing its new Freeway Digital, PowaKaddy claims the trolley stands true to the heritage of the Freeway brand, delivering unerring reliability and robust performance. The new Freeway Digital combines simple easy-to-use functionality, quality engineering and modern oversized styling, to deliver a truly ‘best in class’ product and outstanding value. Standout features include a soft-touch ambidextrous digital ‘T’ bar handle, complete with built-in responsive nine-speed control roller, fully-integrated LED display screen, whisper-quiet motor and brand new battery tray incorporating a built-in interchangeable battery connection. It is available in a classic black or a more fashion-orientated white frame at £349.99 (18-hole lead acid battery), £379.99 (36-hole lead acid battery) and £529.99 (Lithium battery).


July 2012 / Issue 212

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Ping Collection Shorts

Adams Golf Idea CMB irons

RRP: £34.99-£49.99 Contact: www.pingcollection.co.uk

RRP: £899.99 Contact: www.adamsgolf.com

OK, so the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to shortwearing in the last few weeks, but we live in hope, and what better reason for getting your knobbly white knees out than by investing in a pair of Ping Collection’s new range of summer shorts. But these aren’t just any shorts, two of the three designs – the Leith and Lagoon – feature Ping Collection’s signature stretch fabric, which allow wearers to make a full, athletic swing, without the unnecessary hindrances afforded by your common or garden shorts, which have the propensity to tug in all the wrong places, if you get my meaning. They also feature dry fibre technology, which wicks moisture away from the, erm, body. Completing the range is the ultra-lightweight Volt short. This classic short (pictured) is offered in an extensive range of colour options, including a lively cerise shade, black, navy, taupe and white. Volt’s features include moisture movement properties, and excellent crease resistance.

Adams Golf’s classy new CMB iron, which goes on sale next month, is designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of mid-to-low handicappers, with its slimline profile and multi-material construction making it a forgiving a player’s club – if that doesn’t sound like a contradiction in terms. “The look and feel of the CMBs meets the demands of tour players and low handicap amateurs, but the unique tungsten weighting in each iron makes them great for aspiring players as well,” says Tim Reed, Adams Golf’s R&D man, explaining the everyman appeal of these irons. Made from forged carbon steel, with a nickel chrome satin finish, the CMBs have a tungsten weight placed low in the toe to position the centre of gravity in the scorelines to enhance the feel and produce minimal twisting at impact. Offered in righthand only, with stiff flex KBS C-Taper steel shafts and Golf Pride MCC white/black grips, the standard set comprises 4-iron to gap wedge.

TaylorMade Rocketballz Drivers RRP: £199 Contact: www.taylormadegolf.eu

FootJoy LoPro Casual Shoes RRP: £77.50 Contact: www.footjoy.co.uk The LoPro Casual, FootJoy’s latest foray into the spikeless shoe market, offers female golfers the chance to choose a lightweight summer shoe that can be worn on and off the golf course. An extension of FJ’s popular LoPro franchise, this eye-catching shoe has been developed using similar construction techniques to offer a lifestyle shoe that can be worn at home, on the range, in the clubhouse and on the fairways. The lightweight design comprises super-soft, premium materials that deliver superior underfoot comfort thanks to its cushioned DuraMax rubber outsole. A ProofGuard membrane offers additional waterproof protection and breathability, while supple leather uppers provide a comfort fit. The LoPro Casual is available in either white/pink or black/red/white colour options, with additional contrasting laces.

Ping Nome putter Rating: RRP: £209-£249 Contact: www.pingeurope.com There’s no place like Nome. Well, there is actually, it’s a city in Alaska, but it’s also the name of the latest addition to Ping’s already sizeable putter family. The rush to market was somewhat accelerated by Hunter Mahan’s victory in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in March, where he used his Nome to such devastating effect, knocking in 35 birdies and battering Rory McIlroy in the final to take the title. And now it’s also in the bag of World No.3 Lee Westwood, who has turned to the Nome’s magical hole-seeking powers in order to rediscover some form on the greens. The mallet-shaped putter, which is precision milled from high-grade aluminum, features tungsten weighting in the sole that optimises the centre of gravity and increases forgiveness, while a black alignment bar and contrasting white sightline improves accuracy. It is available in standard and belly-length versions, with three different shaft bends to fit straight, slight arc, or strong arc putting strokes. After several rounds with the Nome, I’ve quickly warmed to its soft, yet responsive feel, and its practicality when it comes to alignment and set up. The soft Winn grip is not something I’m familiar with on putters, and I’d perhaps prefer a firmer, more lightweight design so that I could feel the weight of the head more keenly. I can’t fault its performance, however, with the ball rolling out nicely, and offering bags of confidence when standing over those tricky 10-15 footers for par that I’m occasionally presented with. It’s also a solid performer on long putts, with the high MOI, face-balanced head design ensuring the club stays on plane. It’s worth getting custom-fitted – or checking out Ping’s iPing putting app – to find out which design works best for your putting stroke, but whichever model you choose, the Nome is definitely worth considering if you want some help with alignment or lack confidence from close range.

The rather unsubtlely-named Rocketballz driver will hopefully not have children growing up thinking that plurals must end with the letter ‘z’, or that every driver has to be white in order to work, but it has certainly got the tills ringing in pro shops up and down the country, given the very competitive price for what is such a highly-engineered club. The RBZ may not have the bells and whistles of its elder brother, the R11, but it can still be adjusted for face angle, lie and loft, and features TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology, which widens the sweet spot and creates faster ball speeds. The RBZ is all about speed, which is enhanced by a 46-inch 50g Matrix X-Con 5 graphite shaft, which has been loaded with a higher swing weight to crank out a few extra yards. It has a slight draw bias in its neutral setting, so it will help those who don’t like to fade it off the tee. There’s also a Tour version, offered in lofts of 9 and 10.5 degrees, which is slightly more compact, with a deeper face, and launches the ball with a more penetrating trajectory. Letz hope it workz for you!


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July 2012 / Issue 212

1. John Letters MM Grind

2. Nike VR Pro

3. Mizuno MP-R12

RRP: £89 Contact: www.johnletters.com

RRP: £99 Contact: www.nikegolfeurope.com

RRP: £115 Contact: www.mizunoeurope.com

The heads of the new Grind wedges are forged from soft carbon steel to offer an ultra-soft feel. The sole offers a harsh tour grind to enable maximum playability from any lie, while the face features two more precision cut grooves than standard in order to increase spin and maximise control. Available in satin or raw (rusty) finishes, in 52, 56 and 60-degree lofts, they are available with a choice of KBS C Taper, Dynamic Gold Spinner or Precision Rifle shafts, and are fitted with a Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip.

The VR Pro is forged from carbon steel for a soft feel on full and half shots, and is available in three finishes brush oxide raw, black, and satin chrome. It also features Nike’s new X3X high-frequency groove pattern on the face, which sees more grooves on the face spaced closer together. The grooves are also deeper than previously for maximum control. Better players will enjoy the sleek head, square leading edge and low bounce profile that make it ideal for nipping off tight lies.

The R12 wedge features a rounded shape that offers a consistent look at address, regardless of the face angle. Mizuno’s aggressive Quad Cut grooves are designed to complement the CNC milling lines on the face for improved consistency from short range. The loft-specific sole shape ensures heel bounce remains constant across the range. They are available in white satin chrome and black nickel finishes, in lofts of 50˚, 52˚, 54˚, 56˚, 58˚ and 60˚, with a variety of bounces and Dynamic Gold wedge flex shafts.

Stiff it close with one of these beauties

LOFTY

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AMBITIONS

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4. Cobra Trusty Rusty

5. Ping Anser

RRP: £99 Contact: www.cobragolf.com

RRP: £150 Contact: www.pingeurope.com

The Trusty Rusty has a non-plated finish that is 7% softer than chrome and will rust more over time, promoting maximum spin and enhanced feel. It also has a tri-bounce sole, with higher bounce in the centre, and relief in the heel and toe. Available in RH, in 51°, 55° and 59° lofts and custom order lofts of 49°, 53° and 57°, it comes with a black True Temper Dynamic Gold S200 shaft as standard. There is also an oversized version, the Big Trusty Rusty, which will appeal to players who like to look down on a slightly larger clubface at address.

Forged from soft stainless steel, the Anser’s head features a tungsten toe weight that optimises the centre of gravity and increases MOI for high-spinning, low trajectory shots and consistent distance control. A thicker hitting area, featuring a stabilising bar and an hour-glass-shaped reinforced back cavity, ensures consistently solid shot making, while the machined grooves produce maximum spin rates. Available in 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60° lofts, with Dynamic Gold Spinner or Ping CFC steel shafts in Soft R, R, S and X flexes.

6. Callaway Forged RRP: £99 Contact: www.callawaygolf.com Offering a tour-inspired shape and style, the Forged wedge features a higher toe and straighter leading edge for a squarer look at address. Weight has been removed from the face and placed higher on the back of the clubhead for a more penetrating ball flight, while 21 tightly-spaced, sharp-edged grooves provide ideal trajectory and distance control. The C-shape sole, which offers relief from the heel and toe, reduces the width of the sole for optimal turf interaction. It is available in 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64-degree lofts, in dark chrome or copper finishes, the latter of which is designed to oxidise over time for even more spin.

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7. MacGregor M59

8. Titleist Vokey Design Sm4

RRP: £49.99 Contact: www.macgregor-golf.co.uk

RRP: £102 Contact: www.titleist.co.uk

MacGregor’s new M59 wedges combine a classic look and shape with superior spin control and soft feel. Made from soft carbon steel, they feature a tightly compacted grain structure, which results in a solid feel and tremendous consistency. Precision-milled face grooves maximise surface roughness, spin and durability, while a tight heel-toe radius provides increased versatility from all types of lies around the green. They are available in 52, 56 and 60-degree lofts, in either satin or gunmetal finishes, with True Temper Dynamic Gold steel shafts, which provide a balance between torque and flex, resulting in better feel and greater accuracy.

The latest Spin Milled wedges have been designed to claw back spin lost following the introduction of the new groove rules. This has been achieved through a variety of design tweaks, including upping the number of grooves from 14 to 17, and altering the geometry of the grooves to create rougher edges. Made from carbon steel, the heads have a slightly larger teardrop profile than found in previous models. They are available in Tour Chrome, Black Nickel and Oil Can finishes in 21 different loft and bounce configurations, from 46-64 degrees. The clubs can be further customised through Titleist’s WedgeWorks programme.


ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GO TIME. Advanced Material Placement

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Sophisticated computer modeling and simulation allow COBRA Golf engineers to thin walls (orange shaded areas) to save weight and re-distribute mass in the club head (blue shaded areas) to maximize distance and forgiveness.

Introducing COBRA AMPTM Drivers, Fairways, Hybrids and Irons.

100% PURE. www.cobragolf.com


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July 2012 / Issue 212

Golfers visiting the Home of Golf can avail themselves of new luxury accommodation, following the completion of the major building project at the iconic Best Western Scores Hotel in St Andrews. Work has just finished on the next stage of development at the nearest hotel to the first tee of the Old Course. The Scores Hotel, adjacent to St Andrews world famous links, occupies two 19th century buildings and commands magnificent views of St Andrews Bay and the West Sands. Six new junior suites have recently been constructed, with three being housed in the gap between the existing properties. The outer construction is in dressed ashlar stone to match the existing buildings either side and two of the suites have bay windows, with the third affording a balcony with

Join now at www.golfnews.co.uk/greensaver or call 01273 556377

Scores Hotel adds suites for St Andrews golfers

stunning views. In addition, the conversion of the lower ground floor of Seaton House is nearing completion and will provide additional family accommodation, as each of the spacious suites can sleep up to four people, with two of them having small

kitchens. The Seaton House Suites add significantly to the accommodation flexibility for guests at the hotel. US-based David Mann, who owns the Scores Hotel, and is often resident for the summer months, said: “We are delighted with the progress being made so

far, and it seems fitting to bring these two wonderful Victorian buildings together. It has taken a lot of careful planning and expertise to get this stage of the hotel’s development underway, and my family are extremely grateful to everybody involved.” For the future, planning permission has also been granted for another major development, with an extra 30 rooms to be built at the rear of the hotel in readiness for the next Open Championship at St Andrews in 2015. For details of all the latest offers go to www.bw-scoreshotel.co.uk or www.bestwestern.co.uk.

Being a Marriott golfer has its rewards Marriott Golf has launched a new incentive programme that awards golfers with bonus points whenever they book a golf break at any of the 11 Marriott Hotel & Country Clubs across the UK.  The new Golf Rewards programme is available to Marriott Rewards members who book a golf break at the Marriott resorts at Breadsall Priory, Damahoy, Forest of Arden, Hanbury Manor, Hollins Hall, Lingfield, Meon Valley, St Pierre, Sprowston Manor, Tudor Park and Worsley, and is designed to reward repeat customers for their loyalty and to entice newcomers to sample one of Marriott’s golf breaks. Under the terms of the new Golf Rewards programme, the more you stay and play, the more bonus points you earn. Customers who book a one night, two rounds, dinner, bed and breakfast package direct with Marriott via their online booking site will receive an additional 2,000 Marriott rewards bonus points, redeemable on their next visit to a Marriott resort. There are an additional 5,000 bonus points on offer for all customers who purchase a two-night breaks. The offer is open to Marriott Rewards members and is valid until February 28, 2013. For more information visit www.marriottgolf.co.uk.

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We have over 15 years experience of organising golf breaks throughout the UK and Europe


July 2012 / Issue 212

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Get on down to the Grove From the moment you drive through the entrance of The Grove estate, you known you are stepping into the lap of luxury. The sweeping driveway offers tantalising glimpses of carpeted fairways and testing pin placements as you drive, while the hotel stands majestically on top of the hill waiting to welcome you in. Golfers are encouraged to head for the clubhouse, where a legion of smartlydressed assistants are on hand at the bag drop area to take your clubs and shoes from the car in readiness for your round. This is the welcome afforded to all guests at The Grove, and is part of the reason why bookings for the golf course, and all the resort’s five-star facilities, have never been busier. Visitors are faced with designer décor, friendly service and signposts directing them to a myriad of diversions, from the pool, to the spa, and three restaurants, two bars and, of course, to the clubhouse, driving range, and the magnificent 7,193-yard championship golf course. And let’s not forget the 220plus bedrooms and suites. The Grove’s showpiece course was designed by Kyle Phillips, who is best known as the man who created Kingsbarns in St Andrews. Phillips regards The Grove as one his most satisfying creations, given the restrictions of having to work with what many would not have judged natural golfing country. “Building this golf course was like peeling an onion,” says Phillips. “There were layers of detail, and it is that subtle detail that separates the great courses from the others. My goal was to create a course that appears as if had existed naturally for many years, where artificial landforms are indistinguishable from natural ones.” Grandiose ambitions they mightseem, but visitors tend to agree that this is a course with looks that defy its youth, blending stunningly into the contours of the estate. Yes, it’s man-made, but it was made by a man who is a genius at bringing out the most natural elements of the existing landscape,

The Grove offers five-star facilities on and off the golf course

Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board

Please visit our new website

27 holes of fantastic golf

www.dorsetgolfresort.com The Dorset Golf Hotel and Luxury Log homes for rent FREE GOLF Air-conditioned clubhouse facilities l Restaurant offering an extensive menu l On site accommodation in the Dorset Golf Hotel 16 twin rooms l From £64.25 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l

say, whether you experience a round of golf or a whole weekend of relaxing and doing very little, The Grove will always leave you wanting to come back for more.

while sculpting a course that beguiles at every turn. Phillips has designed a course that oozes quality and is above all, a lot of fun to play. It is everything a British inland course should be: always in great condition, with subtle bunkering, undulating greens, lakes, streams and mature woods. And when you put that lot together, it makes for 18 holes that are distinctly individual, yet fit together as an extremely impressive whole. Every hole places exacting demands on your shotmaking skills. Anything that misses the putting surface will often find itself rolling back towards the fairway or angled off towards a bunker or one of Phillips’s beloved grassy hollows. It could be the stuff of nightmares for inexperienced golfers, but thankfully a multitude of teeing options allows the course to be played from a more manageable length. The descriptions of some of the holes in the yardage booklet verge on the poetic, with the 436-yard, par-4 fifth ‘rumbling away from you like a crumpled green blanket’, while the 150-yard, par-3 The par-four eighth

seventh allows golfers to ‘spy only a furtive glimpse of a sliver of the green’. What is described as a ‘dastardly, secretive bunker ready to gobble up the unwary or bold’, awaits drives on the 435-yard, par-4 eighth, and the advice for the 567-yard, par-5 ninth is to ‘let yourself off of your tether and give it a ride’. That’d be the driver, then. Given the great British weather, the greenstaff do a wondrous job, with tees presented like greens, fairways like carpets, while the large and undulating greens can play like glass in the summer, while remaining fast and true even in the depths of winter. The other golfing facilities at The Grove are second to none, with a fantastic driving range lined with perfect pyramids of top quality balls, a chipping green (with practice bunkers) and an 18hole practice putting green in front of the clubhouse. And, after a round, guests can enjoy a drink and a meal in the relaxed environment of The Stables bar and restaurant, while two further restaurants (The Glasshouse and Collette’s), ensure golfers will never be left hungry, and the fabulous Sequoia Spa is an equal attraction, with a stunning indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and individual treatment rooms providing an oasis of pampering. Clearly there is more to The Grove than simply a great golf course. There’s the five-star hotel, the walled garden, the summer beach, the tennis courts, the croquet lawn, the outdoor swimming pool, the nature trails, the spa and the restaurants. Let’s just

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Stay and Play: An overnight stay at The Grove in a superior room with breakfast in the Glasshouse restaurant and 18 holes of golf for two, and use of the Sequioa gym and pool, costs £179pp. Tee times be booked up to 30 days in advance from £99pp for twilight rounds. To book call 01923 294266 or visit www.thegrove.co.uk/golf.

NOW £29.75pp! (min 4 players only)

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FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UK’s Largest Golf Resort

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Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3

Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4

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July 2012 / Issue 212

Join the Carolina Tee Party!

Korineum Golf Resort

Have you ever wished that you could experience the thrill and excitement of playing in the Ryder Cup? Well, here is your opportunity to do just that at the North Carolina International Tee Party. Now in its 25th year, this extremely popular week’s Ryder Cup-style competition is held on four wonderful courses situated in the Brunswick Isles area of the Carolina coast, and just a 20-minute drive north of Myrtle Beach, widely regarded as the best golf holiday

Sea Trail Resort

destination in the USA. For past 24 years, a mixed team of approximately 50 golfers from the UK have played against a team of American golfers for

Golf Holidays in the from only

SPECIAL WEEKLY PACKAGES • 7 nights B&B 6pp • 4 rounds of golf £59 • Return flights with in-flight meals • 20 kg checked luggage and 5 kg hand luggage • Local transfers and representative services • No charge for golf bag • Under 100% ATOL protection

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MYRTLE BEACH from £320pp! ORLANDO from £275pp! ARIZONA from £260pp! PINEHURST from £295pp! HILTON HEAD from £325pp! Prices include - 7 nights in 3* hotel with b/fast, 4 great rounds of golf including carts! and a 7 seat people carrier with inclusive car insurance based on 4 sharing. (FLIGHTS NOT INCLUDED, PLEASE CALL FOR LATEST PRICES AND GROUP DISCOUNTS). 

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Europe and South Africa please call:

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the Tee Party Trophy. Hosted by the Winds Resort Beach Club on Ocean Isle Beach, and the Seal Trail Resort on Sunset Beach, the 2012 event will take place between October 27 and November 3, when competitors will enjoy one practice and four competition rounds during the week-long tournament. The week kicks of with a welcome reception on the Sunday night, and ends with an informal presentation meal on Friday. Its location within easy driving distance of several of the US’s top golf holiday destinations, means that most participants extend their stay in the Carolina’s to visit resorts such as Pinehurst, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach. The teams are limited to around 50 players, and there are still a few places available on the UK team this year. Golfers with recognised handicaps interested in signing up for this unique golfing experience please, contact Eagle Golf Tours on 01273 419111 or go to www.eaglegolftours.com.

Golf Escapes is delighted to offer some fantastic packages to Morocco. Great value and superb golf courses greet you in this fascinating, beautiful and magical country...

ABTA

The Travel Association Y2916

Palmeraie Golf

all inclusive in

7 night golf break from £596

Morocco RIU TIKIDA BEACH: 5 Nights – Twin Room, All Inclusive, 4 Rounds at Golf du Soleil, return airport and golf course transfers. VALID SEPTEMBER 2012

VALID OCTOBER 2012

£345pp £439pp

Golf du Soleil

RIU TIKIDA PALMERAIE: 5 Nights – Twin Room – All Inclusive, 4 Rounds – 1 x Palmeraie, 1 x Amelkis, 1 x Al Maaden, 1 x Royal, return airport and golf course transfers. VALID SEPTEMBER 2012

VALID OCTOBER 2012

£519pp £529pp

Amelkis

Call our holiday experts on 0203 150 0913 or visit www.CyprusParadise.com/golf

www.KorineumGolf.com

For more information please email: info@golf-escapes.com, call: 01342 811777 or visit: www.golf-escapes.com Different durations, additional rounds of golf, room upgrades and single room supplements available on request – please ask for further details. Prices shown are based on an exchange rate of 13 MAD to the Pound. Flights are not included, please enquire for further details.

Only 3 hrs from London | Excellent year round climate | All inclusive packages


July 2012 / Issue 212

/ 45 Fairmont St Andrews

From iconic links courses to lesser-known inland gems, Scotland has golf to suit all levels of skill and depth of pocket, from five-star luxury resorts such as Turnberry, Gleneagles and St Andrews, to more intimate venues where the welcome is just as warm. And with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness airports taking you to the heart of the action in a little over an hour from London, you can be playing these great courses in a matter of minutes after you’ve touched down. Golfbreaks.com has come up with a quartet of venues to sample, all of which offer up a unique flavour of what Scottish golf has to offer. Teeing off at the Home of Golf, St Andrews, where golfers are spoilt for choice for established links, our first stop is at one of the town’s newest resort, Fairmont St Andrews, which occupies a stunning coastal spot just two miles outside the walls of the ‘Grey Toon’. As you would expect from a fivestar golf resort and spa, Fairmont St Andrews offers fantastic golf, as well as excellent off-course facilities. Here you will discover two very distinct championship layouts, the 7,037-yard Torrance and the 7,049yard Kittocks. Reflecting the status of the new Torrance layout, which was remodeled in 2009, the course was used as a qualifier for the 2010

BREAK BEYOND the

BORDERS When the days are long, and the sun is – hopefully – in the sky, there’s no better place for a golfing break than Scotland Open at St Andrews, and hosted the Scottish Seniors Open in 2009. The Kittocks, which opened ten years ago, is arguably the more challenging of the two, and offers dramatic coastline views to go along with the difficult holes. You need great accuracy and length to master this golf course, which has an inspiring layout that every

MacDonald Cardrona Scotland GolfHotel news ad B_Layout 1 23/07/2012 11:37 Page 1

category of golfer will find enjoyable. After a round, and a drink in the stunning clubhouse, golfers can choose from one of 209 comfortable guestrooms in the hotel, each of which offer the latest in-room amenities and home comforts. If it’s Open history you’re after, then a trip over to Turnberry, located on Scotland’s west coast, is a must for all golf fans. Host venue for the Open in 1977, made famous for the ‘Duel in the Sun’ between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, and most recently in 2009, when Watson came within a whisker of triumph, Turnberry’s 7,211-yard Ailsa course is arguably the most challenging of the Open layouts, and represents a fearsome test for the visiting golfer, especially when the wind blows from the direction of the brooding isle of Ailsa Craig. With some fairways framed

by sandy hillocks and others flanked by craggy rocks, its breathtaking at every turn. The 9th hole is Turnberry’s trademark, with the landmark lighthouse casting shadows over the 13th century ruins of Bruce’s Castle, and the narrow path to the tee and the drive across the corner of the bay fills players with trepidation. The adjacent Kintyre course is no less impressive, with its undulating fairways and challenging pot bunkers making for a tricky round. After your game, hole up in the Edwardian splendour of the Turnberry Hotel, which has recently been refurbished. Its tastefully decorated rooms, many of which offer views of the Isle of Arran, perfectly complement the high standard of golf to make for a truly memorable golf break. For those looking for a more intimate

venue, the privately-owned Green Hotel, located in Kinross, near Perth, is a great choice for few days away. Having started life in the 18th century as a popular coaching inn on the main route north from Edinburgh, Green Hotel has retained its reputation for warm hospitality and excellent service. The hotel has 46 spacious en-suite bedrooms, most with views over the extensive gardens or a secluded courtyard. Located just a pitching wedge from the front door of the hotel, the Green’s two highly-regarded 18-hole courses – The Bruce and the Montgomery – lie in beautiful, unspoilt parkland bordering Loch Leven. As well as golf, the hotel boasts extensive leisure facilities, including a heated swimming pool, solarium, sauna, gym, a squash court, tennis courts and even a curling rink. The final part of our journey takes us to the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel Golf & Country Club in Peebles. The 99-bedroom hotel offers all the modern amenities you could require for a comfortable and relaxing break, while its 7,000-yard Cardrona course serves up all the golfing challenges any skilled golfer can appreciate. Requiring both power and accuracy to score well, especially on the holes where the River Tweed comes into play, this parkland gem is worth playing over and over again to understand its subtle nuances. Besides great traditional Scottish food and stunning golf, guests can take advantage of the on-site spa, and a fantastic indoor pool. And with a comfortable pillow to rest your head after a hard days golf, what more could any golfer need from a golfing break? For the latest offers, as well as tailor made breaks to over 900 destinations worldwide, Call GolfBreaks.com on 0800 279 7988 or visit www.golfbreaks.com.

Experience Scotland, the Home of Golf from £95 Macdonald Cardrona 4★ Borders

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2 nights’ dinner, b&b, 3 rounds from

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Play golf on Montgomery & Bruce courses

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1 night’s b&b, 2 rounds from Play golf on Torrance & Kittocks courses

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Official Golf Travel Company

Europe’s largest golf travel company


46 /

July 2012 / Issue 212

Stay & play brought to you by

For bookings please contact Your Golf Travel.com: Call Free: 0800 193 6612. Email: info@yourgolftravel.com Web: www.yourgolftravel.com

Speak to a Scotsman, and you will likely find common ground in the game of golf. Speak to him about a bothy, however, and you may find a pained look creep across his face as memories of washed out hill-walking come flooding back into focus. But the Bothy Cottage at South Lodge Hotel could be just the tonic to banish those thoughts in style… You see, north of the border, a bothy is typically a stonewalled hut, devoid of furnishings or anything that resembles a mod-con, where weary walkers can bed down for the night in between Munro bagging. Now, compare that with South Lodge Hotel, where they do things a little differently. It’s no mere coincidence that the G20 bigwigs descended on this Sussex haven during Gordon Brown’s reign at number 10. This is a place where luxury means luxury, and where bothy means something entirely different. Thankfully, when you visit South Lodge, and whether you stay in its Bothy Cottage or the hotel itself, pressing matters are less likely to be trade deficits or sub-prime mortgages, and more questions of relaxation, fine dining and avoiding three-putts. Because Gordon and his fellow head honchos chose what is actually one of the England’s most sought-after golf break retreats. Leafy West Sussex – an enclave not too far from Horsham, to be exact – sets the stage for the mouth-watering combination of the much lauded South Lodge Hotel with Mannings Heath Golf Club, just a couple of minutes away. It is here that two golf courses of genuine quality await. Finding private golf club calibre golf as part of a residential package is pretty unique, but the Waterfall and Kingfisher Courses at Mannings Heath serve it up in spades. Under the gaze of the 17th century clubhouse, the two courses meander this way and that through the ample 500 acres of Sussex countryside. At the Waterfall, guests can expect to enjoy a real member’s experience. This highly rated 6,683-yard, 1905

A Good Walk Not Spoiled design tops the bill at Mannings Heath, presenting its fortunate visitors with a fine blend of parkland, heathland and downland, not to mention the presence of mature, deciduous wooded areas and a network of streams. Panoramic views across the South Downs are just one highlight of the Kingfisher, a 1996 addition to the already impressive Mannings Heath complex. The trimmed and manicured USGA-spec tees and greens strike a visually impactful

SPECIAL PACKAGES One Night, Bed & Breakfast The Bothy Cottage, South Lodge Hotel Two Rounds of Golf (Waterfall & Kingfisher Courses) contrast with the blonde, wispy fescue rough, while the laidback atmosphere extends to the on course refreshment service, supplied by an original buggy intended for the 2001 Ryder Cup that never was. Suitably golfed out, your task now will be to set compasses for resort and enjoy the utterly spectacular South Lodge and all its treats. Perfectly cropped lawns extend out from the grandiose country house hotel, while the interiors have been augmented yet further with the recent completion of a stylish investment programme. That often aimed for but seldom achieved balance of traditional features and modern facilities is pulled off with aplomb throughout the 89-bedroom hotel, extending out towards South Lodge’s Bothy Cottage. If your group size falls into the six to ten range, then give serious consideration to the Bothy. Set within

its very own garden, the cottage drips with country charm, and while you can enjoy the seclusion and independence that this affords, you are also in the enviable position of having the hotel and its facilities on the doorstep. Stock the fridge with a few cold ones and some bubbly and stretch out in the cottage’s lounge and dining room, just one attractive facet of this family-style house that’s complete with three double bedrooms, two singles, and a couple of superbly-appointed bathrooms. This sort of option and experience is simply what you come to expect from South Lodge and its ever so impressive golfing compadre, Mannings Heath; your needs are anticipated, and there is a steadfast refusal to present guests with anything less than excellence. So gather friends, family or fellow club members and see what it’s all about. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

From

£99

per person valid for groups of 6

Two Nights, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast South Lodge Hotel Three Rounds of Golf (2 x Kingfisher, 1 x Waterfall) From

£250 per person


July 2012 / Issue 212

/ 47

Me&MyTravels

In association with...

with Matt Prior – The South African-born Sussex and England wicketkeeper is one of the lucky few to have played Shadow Creek and Apes Hill, and is planning a trip to play Congressional The best hotel I’ve ever stayed at was... in Bali. I can’t remember the name, but it was beautiful. We normally stay in large corporate hotels on tour, so we tend to go for more boutique-style places when we go away as a family. We also went to the Abama Resort in Tenerife last year which was fantastic.

My first holiday was to… Salt Rock, a coastal resort near Durban in South Africa. I was born in Johannesburg, and we used to go down to the coast for holidays when I was about six or seven. We stayed in a self-catering apartment and used to just hang out at the beach all day. I always travel with… my iPad. I’m slightly addicted to it and wonder what on earth I did on flights before it. Probably watched a lot of bad films. I also have a good set of noisereduction headphones. My most recent holiday was to… Abu Dhabi. We played the last test series against Pakistan there and in Dubai, so I stayed on after that was over with the family. We stayed at the new Park Hyatt on Saadiyat Island for 10 days, which was stunning. It’s got everything you need for a relaxing family holiday, especially when you’ve young kids. I managed to get a few

Apes Hill, Barbados

games in at Saadiyat Beach, and at Abu Dhabi and Yas Links, which is a superb course. My favourite golf course in the UK is… Sunningdale. It sums up all that is best about golf in this country: understated class. My favourite course in the world is… a toss up between Apes Hill in Barbados and Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Apes Hill is a stunning location with some beautiful holes,

Shadow Creek

while Shadow Creek is just awesome. I went on a lads golfing holiday to Las Vegas in October last year. One of my friends is a member at Shadow Creek and sorted out a round for us. It’s beyond description. My ideal holiday fourball would include… Tiger Woods, Stuart Broad and Sienna Miller. The best golfer in the England side is… Andrew Strauss. There are quite a few of us with the golfing bug in

the side. Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, Graeme Swann and Ian Bell have all got the bug, but Straussy is probably the best. Swanny refuses to play on tour, for some bizarre superstitious reason. I take every opportunity to get a round in between matches on tour. The golf course I’d most like to play is… The Old Course at St Andrews – for all of the obvious reasons – and Loch Lomond, which looks amazing on telly.

My favourite city in the world is… Sydney. I’m planning a trip to… Washington in America. We don’t have time for summer holidays, so we might get away there in late September or early October. I’ve got a friend who knows a member at Congressional, so I’m hoping to get a game in there, as I’ve heard its stunning.

The thing I hate about travel is... travel itself. Queuing, waiting, all the usual annoyances of airports. We get fast-tracked through the worst of it, but last year I took more than 50 flights, so hanging around in lounges loses some its appeal. The worst experience on tour was… travelling through Pakistan in 2005. The north of the country had just suffered a terrible earthquake, and seeing the images on television, and knowing that we were up the road playing cricket seemed all rather pointless. My top travel tip would be… embrace the culture of the place you’re visiting. Try and see it through the eyes of the locals and not as a tourist – if that’s possible.

We’re the golfing holiday experts. MAURITIUS

5* Belle Mare Plage 12 nights half board unlimited golf on 2 championship courses incl. flights, transfers from £1,595 pp

ABU DHABI 4* Crowne Plaza Yas Island 7 nights bb with 5 rounds golf flights from UK airport and ground transfers from only £1,199 pp

MADEIRA

5* Meliã Madeira Mare 7 nights bb with 4 rounds golf incl. transfers from only £535 pp (excl. flights)

MOROCCO

5* Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort 4 nights all inclusive unlimited golf with buggy airport shuttle transfers included from £430 pp (excl. flights)

SOUTH AFRICA Tailor made holidays by the South African golf specialists GolfHolidaysinSouthAfrica.com

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T. 028 9023 2112 www.chakatravel.com

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FULLY (AND NEWLY)

EQUIPPED FOR VICTORY. PING pro Lee Westwood’s 40th worldwide win – a 5-shot triumph at the Nordea Masters in Sweden – came after a switch to the new PING i20 irons and Nome putter. Westwood, who ranks #3 in the world, put the clubs in the bag at the start of the week and never looked back. Congratulations, Lee, from all of us at PING.

© 2012 PING P.O. Box 82000 Phoenix, AZ 85071 GWk612

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golfnews july 2012